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50,000 COVID-19 testing kits to arrive tomorrow, says NDMA chairman

ISLAMABAD: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said on Thursday around 50,000 coronavirus testing kits will arrive in Karachi tomorrow (Friday).

Speaking at a media briefing alongside Planning Minister Asad Umar and Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, he said a plane is being dispatched to Wuhan, the origin of the coronavirus, to bring medical equipment, including fifteen ventilators.

An eight-member medical team is also arriving in Pakistan from the Chinese city of Urumchi to put forward suggestions to help Pakistan tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

He detailed 80 tonnes of medical supplies will arrive from Beijing tomorrow.

Read More: 21 coronavirus patients recovered, 8 lost lives in Pakistan: Zafar Mirza

The NDMA chief said the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds has been increased to 19,600, adding beds at quarantine facilities across the country have also been increased to 1,62,000.

About 42,000 hotel rooms have been booked to provide quarantine facilities.

We have a total of 54,000 health workers, out of them, 30,000 are those who work in ICUs, he explained.

He said protective kits have been designed for those working in ICUs and will be provided to them.

About 450 ventilators were non-functional in Punjab, a good number of which have been made functional, thereby reducing the number of the non-functional ventilators to a mere 61, the NDMA chairman said.

Read More: Parliamentary committee formed to oversee virus containment measures

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