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DG Health refutes rumours about shortage of COVID-19 testing kits in Balochistan

QUETTA: Balochistan’s Director-General (DG) Health Dr Saleem Abro has refuted rumours about a shortage of coronavirus testing kits in the province, ARY News reported on Friday.

Dr Saleem Abro said that sufficient quantity of COVID-19 testing kits is available in Balochistan including 10,000 PCR kits and 4,500 VTM kits. He added that 47,000 VTM kits will be provided to Balochistan by Saturday morning from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The DG Health asked citizens not to be panicked as Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan is directly monitoring the matters related to the coronavirus pandemic and medical facilities. He said that the provincial government is working day and night to provide maximum facilities to its citizens to fight COVID-19.

Read: NDMA delivers fourth consignment of protective gear to Balochistan, GB

On April 18, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal had said the government has increased the number of labs conducting coronavirus tests across the country to 50.

Speaking during ARY News’ Aitaraz Hai talk show, he said the country’s Covid-19 testing capacity has also gone up to 65,000 tests per day. He added 18 more labs will be functional by the end of this month with every division or district to have a coronavirus testing lab by the middle of the next month.

There are 700,000 testing kits available in the country at present, the NDMA chief said, ruling out any shortage of kits. He maintained the labs have the capacity to conduct 20,000 tests in a day.

Read: NDMA delivers fresh stock of PPEs to Punjab, AJK

However, Gen Afzal said shortage of manpower and technical glitches are holding the country back from conducting tests to its full capacity. He added the NDMA procured 850,000 testing kits since the outbreak of the pandemic as about 100,000 kits were donated by China.

He said most of the kits were purchased from China, adding no protective equipment other than N95 masks were procured from abroad.

The number of ventilators has also been enhanced to 250, the NDMA chief said.

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