ISLAMABAD:The United States government on Thursday donated another tranche of 100 ventilators to Pakistan to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul W Johns handed over the ventilators to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal.
Speaking on the occasion, the NDMA chairman said Pakistan had significantly increased its COVID testing capacity to 100,000 tests per day, besides upgrading 148 laboratories to conduct PCR tests for overcoming the pandemic.
He said the US had donated 100 ventilators last month and the combined worth of 200 units was $ 3 million. It also included the package of training to doctor and paramedics.
” I’m pleased to receive the ventilators – the token of friendship with the United States of America (USA).”
The 100 ventilators given earlier by the US had been distributed among hospitals across the country, especially those which did not have the facility of vents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Balochistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
“We have increased bed capacity, including oxygenated beds, and ventilators in across the country hospitals, besides establishing quarantine and isolation facility for COVID patients,” he said.
The NDMA, he added, had also helped upgrading the national health system to successfully handle the additional case loads of COVID patients.
The authority had supported the industry to locally manufacture medical equipment, and supplies to supplement governments efforts, he said.
Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said the NDMA facilitated building the 250-bed Infectious Diseases Treatment Centre in Islamabad in about 100 days, which would be operational soon.
“These efforts have resulted in successfully containing the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” he added.
The NDMA chairman thanked US Ambassador Paul W Johns and the head of USAID in Pakistan Ms Julie for making possible the support.
The US ambassador said both the governments had already expressed their firm resolve to jointly combat the menace. “This is the second tranche of 100 ventilators.The first consignment had been handed over to NDMA in Karachi last month. Pakistani doctors and healthcare workers would also be provided training facilities.”
He said the US was also helping to upgrade provincial emergency operation centres. The two countries would defeat the pandemic with joint efforts.932