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Friday Apr 10 2020
Web Desk

Fawad offers free maintenance of ventilators if coronavirus patients treated free of charge

Web Desk

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Friday offered private hospitals free maintenance of thei ventilators if they provide medical attention to those suffering from COVID-19 free of charge.

"We can repair malfunctioning ventilators for free on the condition of free treatment for COVID-19 patients," he said.

Highlighting another related issue, the minister noted that most government-run health facilities have ventilators but lacked trained staff to operate them.

Read also: Private hospitals again turn down Sindh govt’s request for coronavirus beds

The science minister said they have constituted teams in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar who will provide training to staff on how to operate the machines.

Hospital in-charges are requested to take benefit of this facility, the minister said.

The demand for the life-saving machines has surged after the number of coronavirus cases in the country witnessed exponential growth during the past few weeks.

Fawad said Pakistan's engineering institutions have so far repaired around 150 ventilators.

Currently, Pakistan has nearly 4,000 ventilators available and has ordered hundreds more to meet growing demand.

According to an Arab News report, the “NRTC [National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation] is repairing out of order ventilators to deal with the shortage of the much-needed medical equipment.

Read also: Meet the aspiring science journalists battling coronavirus misinformation in Pakistan

Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal told the publication about the arrangement after a visit to NRTC and Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), the latter of which is also manufacturing face masks, hand sanitizers and other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to contribute in the national fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

“109 ventilators were repaired and sent back to hospitals in the last 18 days by our volunteer engineers and technicians,” she said, adding that “our team is working tirelessly to repair another 690 faulty ventilators.”

Meanwhile on Thursday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza had announced that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has allowed clinical trials of locally manufactured ventilators.