KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department has 484 ventilators in the entire province, of which only 353 are functional, 52 out of order, 43 yet to be installed, and 21 being purchased, the chief minister was told during a meeting on Wednesday, according to a report in The News.
Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday said that Sindh needed 5,000 more ventilators to deal with a health emergency, but in the first phase, he was approving the purchase of 290 ventilators, which will be installed at different public health facilities in the province.
With the pressure of people mounting on various public and private hospitals for the testing of COVID-19, Shah also approved the purchase of 3.2 million personal protective equipment (PPE), 100 antigen rapid testing devices, and 100,000 testing kits.
He also approved the purchase of 50 reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-Lamp) testing devices, 10,000 RT-Lamp testing kits, and 29 portable X-ray machines, so that the testing capacity in the province could be enhanced.
One of the leading private hospitals of Karachi, and some public health facilities, have stopped testing people for the novel coronavirus after their testing abilities were exhausted, said health authorities on Wednesday.
Authorities added that hundreds of people were reporting daily at the emergencies of public and private hospitals to get tested for COVID-19, compelling the provincial government to purchase testing kits and equipment, ventilators, and PPE, for health care providers in Sindh.
The chief executive gave the approval for the purchase of medical equipment and supplies during the 28th meeting of the task force on coronavirus that he presided over at the CM House on Wednesday.
Shah was told that the antigen rapid testing devices prepared by Chinese scientists have an easy system to test samples, and were one of the best machines, as they could conduct 10 virus tests in an hour.
The CM approved the purchase of 100 such devices, and 100,000 testing kits, directing the health department to place the order. “I want their delivery as soon as possible,” he said.
He also approved the purchase of RT-Lamp testing devices and 10,000 RT-Lamp testing kits, and issued the directives for ensuring their delivery in the shortest possible time.
He was told that seven health facilities have been provided with testing machines for the virus.These include the Chest Clinic Lyari, the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Kashmore, the Civil Hospital Karachi, the Taluka Hospital Hala, the DHQ Hospital Sanghar, the DHQ Hospital Ghotki and the DHQ Hospital Naushehroferoze.
These health facilities will be able to conduct 1,344 tests in six batches a day. Therefore, they are in need of 120,960 testing kits for the next 90 days.