Pakistan to carry out 4 million coronavirus tests in two weeks

By: News Desk      Published: 04:54 PM, 21 Mar, 2020
Pakistan to carry out 4 million coronavirus tests in two weeks

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 543 on Saturday, NDMA Chairman Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal said Pakistan would be able to conduct 40,00,000 tests after two weeks.

He was addressing a joint press conference along with Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf.

Sharing the details, Mirza said the number of confirmed cases had reached 543 with Sindh still topping the list with 267 patients.

Out of the all new cases, fourteen are from Sindh followed by Balochistan 11, Gilgit-Baltistan nine, Punjab eight, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa four and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) one.

Thus the total number of cases in different administrative units are Sindh 267, Punjab 104, Balochistan 103, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 27, Gilgit-Baltistan 30, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 11 and Azad Kashmir one.

Five infected persons – Sindh three and ICT two – have fully recovered from the infection, while the number of deaths still stands at three.

Meanwhile, 535 patients are currently undergoing treatment at the hospitals in different cities of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Lt-Gen Afzal said sales tax had been abolished on the imported items related to the health sector and the State Bank would start a one-window operation for procurement to help the importers.

He said 10 scanners and 10,000 kits had reached Pakistan during the last 24 hours, adding that Jack Ma, the Alibaba founder, would provide five million masks and 50,000 testing kits.

The NDMA chief said all the necessary equipment and personal gear would start reaching the doctors and paramedical staff in the next 24 to 48 hours.

He also promised to soon establish an air bridge between China and Pakistan for ensuring the supply of medical equipment, adding that the testing capabilities would be enhanced dramatically in the coming days.