Covid-19 testing labs to raise to 32

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal on Tuesday apprised Prime Minister Imran Khan that presently, 20 coronavirus testing laboratories were fully functional in the country whereas 12 more would be established soon to meet the target of total 32 laboratories.
About the availability of testing kits, the prime minister was briefed that the first consignment of 57,000 kits was imported from China, followed by another of 30,000, while 192,000 more would reach Pakistan by Wednesday taking the total number of available kits to 280,000. The prime minister was chairing a review meeting over the coronavirus control, diagnosing facilities, continuity of industrial process under the current situation, the government’s economic package, supply and distribution of essential items, steps in the agriculture sector and implementation of National Coordination Committee’s decisions.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Economic Affairs Hamad Azhar, Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant Dr Moeed Yousaf, Focal Person over Corona Dr Faisal Sultan and others, PM Office Media Wing in a press release said. The NDMA chairman gave a detailed briefing over the establishment of laboratories to diagnose the coronavirus infection, availability of testing kits and other issues.
The prime minister was told that till March 14, the country had 14 laboratories but their numbers had been increased. A detailed briefing was also given over the availability of testing kits, ventilators and other health related equipment in different provinces.