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July 1, 2020

Governor inaugurates Al-Khidmat’s COVID-19 testing facility

Karachi

July 1, 2020

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail inaugurated a COVID-19 testing facility at the Virology and Genetic Lab of the Al-Khidmat Hospital Karachi on Tuesday, and said NGOs had also done a wonderful job in the upgradation of three Karachi hospitals, including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

“NGOs are doing a wonderful job in the health sector, and even at public hospitals of Sindh, major services are being provided by NGOs. For instance, the Cyber Knife facility at the Jinnah Hospital has been established by NGOs. The federal government is going to take over three Karachi hospitals and we will turn them into state-of-the-art health facilities,” he said while inaugurating the COVID-19 testing facility at the Al-Khidmat Hospital.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman, Chairman Board of Governors Al-Khidmat Diagnostic Centre Haroon Qasim, Azfar Ahsan, a representative from Corporate Pakistan Group, Dr Naila Tariq, the project director of the Al-Khidmat Diagnostic Centre, Syed Jamshaid Ahmed, Dr Saqib Ansari and others were also present on the occasion.

Terming the Al-Khidmat an “honest and trustworthy” organisation, the governor praised it for providing health services to people all over the country.

He maintained that this testing facility in District Central would facilitate a large number of people in the East and West districts of Karachi. He added that this facility would facilitate hundreds of families who needed to be tested for COVID-19 for their jobs and other requirements.

Praising the Corporate Pakistan Group for their donation of Rs30 million for the establishment of COVID-19 testing facility and diagnostic centre, Ismail said it was a small amount, but if utilised honestly and properly, this small amount of money could do wonders, which was evident from the establishment of the state-of-the-art testing facility in the city by Al-Khidmat.

Talking to newsmen on the occasion, the governor expressed his astonishment over a statement of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in which he had reportedly declined to collect federal taxes, saying Pakistan was a federation where the provinces had to collaborate and cooperate with the Centre. He added that hopefully Chief Minister Shah would withdraw his words in this regard.

He maintained that the federal government was going to take over three Karachi’s hospitals – the JPMC, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH) -- as per a judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He said that in the federal government’s control, these hospitals would be turned into state-of-the-art health facilities.

Haroon Qasim said Al-Khidmat’s diagnostic facility was not just a testing facility but a complete research and development centre where research would be carried out on pathogens that were resulting in epidemics and caused diseases in our country.

“At the moment, several tests are not being conducted in our country and for those tests we have to go to the Far East and the Middle East. We are planning to perform these tests at this diagnostic facility,” he said and urged the governor to support the diagnostic facility on behalf of the federal government. He said this facility would facilitate the masses at subsidised rates.

Azfar Ahsan praised the Al-Khidmat and the Jamaat-e-Islami for the establishment of the diagnostic facility and said the Corporate Pakistan Group, where representatives of seven political parties were present, financially supported this project.

Dr Naila Tariq said it was a Bio-Safety Level (BSL-III) facility and virology lab where not only testing but research on the genomes of microorganisms, including viruses and bacteria, would be carried out. She added that this facility would provide COVID-19 test results in 24 hours in the PDF format online or on the phone.