Pakistan will begin to manufacture ventilators locally within 60 to 90 days, said the Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday.
“Within 60 to 90 days, we will start the local production of ventilators in Pakistan to meet the need in the country,” Chaudhry revealed to reporters.
Fawad Chaudhry tweeted on Sunday that the first 8 to 10 of ventilators made in Pakistan will be delivered to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) by next week.
The healthcare system of Pakistan has been under major pressure as the number of COVID cases soared post EID when the lockdown was eased. According to World Health Organization, Pakistan has become one of the nations with the fastest spread of coronavirus infections in the past few weeks.
الحمدللہ #MadeInPakistan #ventilators کی پہلی کھیپ NDMA کو اس ہفتے حوالے ہو جائیگی، #NRTC کو بہت مبارک اگلے تین ڈیزائن بھی آخری مراحل میں ہیں جس کے بعد ہم دنیا کے ان چند ممالک میں شامل ہوں گے جو پیچیدہ میڈیکل مشینیں بناتے ہیں، یہ تمام مشینیں EU Standards کے مطابق ہیں
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) June 28, 2020
He revealed in a video statement how Pakistan will be joining ranks of some of the very few countries with ventilator production facility, after finalization of next three designs, which will European union (EU) standards. According to Fawad Chaudhry, the ventilator is a “complicated machine and not a lot of countries in the world have the capacity to make this”.
The minister was hopeful that once local production begins, the country will be able to meet the demands locally as well as export it internationally.
“When the first Covid-19 case was recorded in February 26, we were not producing anything. Within a few months, we have become capable of producing our own equipment,” Chaudhry said, while congratulating the scientists and technicians of Pakistan Engineering Council, National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC).
“Today, we are exporting COVID related material worth $100 million and the [production of] ventilators will further increase the export,” he added.
The Coronavirus has claimed more than 4000 lives in Pakistan, as of July 1st, 2020. Number of known cases has surpassed 200,000, while 100,000 has recovered.
The minister further announced that a private firm has also design an “instant” testing kit that can provide virus results within 45 minutes. Once approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan people will be able to do their tests at home themselves.
— Ministry of Science & Technology (@MinistryofST) June 28, 2020
The decision to manufacture ventilators locally came days after Pakistan stated that they needed 1500 ventilators to fulfil the contingency plan. Presently, the government hospitals of Pakistan treating COVID 19 patients have 1503 ventilators in total.
Hospitals have already started reporting shortages and are now turning patients away. The officials have revealed that Pakistan is only a month away from the projected peak and violations of lock-down guidelines are not making it any easier. Authorities have, however sealed markets, malls and shops in residential areas as part of a “smart lockdown” since June 14 in 20 major cities of Pakistan.
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