No ventilators dearth in Pakistan: NDMA Chief

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By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal on Tuesday said around 4200 ventilators were available in public and private sector hospitals and there was no dearth of ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients in the country.
Addressing a press conference here, the Chairman NDMA said orders had already been placed for procurement of additional 1310 ventilators.
He said trained staff was required to operate the ventilators and agreements regarding training of staff, its installation and 1-3 three years maintenance were also ensured with companies to whom the ventilators were being imported.
He said United States of America has also offered to donate 200 ventilators to Pakistan and half of them would reach shorty.
Out of 100 ventilators, 30 each would be provided to Peshawar and Karachi, 15 to Balochistan, 10 to Faisalabad and 15 to Lahore.
He said currently only 128 patients were on ventilators. Occupancy of ventilators in all cities were remained below 50 per cent so far, he said. He said it was expected that 2,000 more ventilators would be required by June if the situation would get worse for which a contingency plan had already been chalked out. The NDMA Chairman said the Authority had 183 intensive care unit ventilators in its warehouses as well as oxygen, CPAP, and BiPAP ventilators. While refuting a news circulated on social media about shortage of ICU beds, Muhamamd Afzal said there were 10,944 ICU beds available in 365 public sector hospitals across the country and only 2211 ICUs beds were in use which was 20 per cent below the available capacity while 679 ICU beds were also available in 52 private hospitals, he said.
Similarly, he added, as many as 72,900 beds were available in public sector while around 6000 beds in private sector hospitals.