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Friday April 12, 2024

PM stresses protection of first line defence against corona

By Our Correspondent
March 27, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Thursday that Prime Minister Imran Khan again during the National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting laid emphasis on protection of first line of defence (doctors, nurses and paramedics) against the pandemic.

She told a news briefing here that the prime minister called for safety and security of the doctors, nurses and paramedics, who were battling the coronavirus and the patients and keeping this in view, a specially designed kit had been developed for them.

As many as 30,000 protection kits will be provided to as many health practitioners, who work in the intensive care units across the country by April 5.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said in a media briefing along with Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri and Adviser on Health Dr Zafar Mirza that the kits, including two surgical masks N-95 and 30 normal masks and glasses, would be supplied to the health practitioners through the provinces. These kits are like weapons, for soldiers, who are sent to the battlefronts. He said that the government of Pakistan had already provided $50 million to Pakistan’s Embassy in Beijing so that time could be saved regarding provision of funds.

NDMA chairman said that in a few days, the intensive care unit beds, which was previously 700, had now reached 19,670 while the number of quarantine beds had been increased from 400-500 to 162,000, including those in the provinces or in the Centre. He continued that around 1,795 quarantine beds had been booked at three and four hotels while six five star hotels had also been alerted for this purpose.

Regarding ventilators, he said that there were a total of 2,200 ventilators across the country and of these, 450 were out of order and today those out of order were just 61 and the defence forces institution had promised to fix them as well. And, between April 10-15, new 1,000 ventilators would be imported and by April 25-30, the number would reach 2000-3000 and in May, it would be around 8000-10,000.

He noted that a private Chinese firm had provided 0.5 million masks while a plane from China would reach Pakistan with 15 tons of medical items and 20 ventilators. Likewise, he said their prime focus was on protection, equipment and testing kits. Another shipment was due a day after along with equipment and 8-member health experts, who would visit various facilities and share their expertise on how to effectively combat the virus, followed by other shipments within next few days from China. He added these facilities would be enough for Pakistan’s needs for the next few weeks.