700,000 testing kits now available, says NDMA chief

By: INP      Published: 12:09 AM, 19 Apr, 2020
700,000 testing kits now available, says NDMA chief
NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal.–File photo

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

Speaking to a private TV channel, he said the country’s Covid-19 testing capacity had also gone up to 65,000 tests per day. He added that 18 more labs would 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.

Gen Afzal said the 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.