PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has increased its Covid-19 testing capacity from 100 to 300 per day and it will be further increased to 500 tests per day during the coming days.

According to a statement, a meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to review province’s Covid-19 situation and future course of action, was informed about increase in the testing capacity.

The meeting was attended by Health Minister Taimur Slaeem Jhagrha, Adviser to Chief Minister Ajmal Khan Wazir, Corp Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Nauman Mahmood, Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, IGP Sanaullah Abbassi and administrative secretaries of relief, home and health departments.

The meeting was informed that 215 quarantine centers were established in the province to cater to the needs of suspected patients of Covid-19. It was said that presently 24 centres were active.

CM directs health authorities to increase capacity to 2,000

The meeting was informed that medical tests of the majority of pilgrims, quarantined in Dera Ismail Khan, were negative and they were being sent to their homes to live in home quarantine for the next two weeks.

The meeting decided to provide free ration to the families of the individuals kept at government quarantine facilities. About awarding risk allowance to health and rescue workers, it was decided that such a package would be announced within a couple of days after finance department completed homework and calculation.

The meeting also decided to devise a mechanism to regulate private vehicles plying within cities. It stressed the need for evolving a mechanism in coordination with federal government and other provinces to safely exchange members of Tableeghi Jamaat.

The meeting reviewed the arrangements put in place for the people expected to come from across Torkham after opening of border as well as for the people coming by air to the province after resumption of international flight operations.

The meeting was informed that as many as 215 quarantine centres, 554 high dependency units and 2,400 isolation beds were arranged for coronavirus patients across the province.

The meeting was told that the number of ventilators in public sector hospitals of the province had been increased two-fold that would be further increased on war footings.

It was said that the in the light of the decision made in the last meeting of provincial cabinet, almost 15,000 volunteers were identified by the health department and the district administrations for rising rapid response teams.

The chief minister directed the health authorities to increase the testing capacity for coronavirus to 2,000 per day to be able to deal with any unwanted situation in future.

PDMA: Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) on Tuesday dispatched 50,000 N-95 face masks to health and other relevant departments.

PDMA Director General Perwaiz Khan said that 40,000 N-95 masks were dispatched to health department while the remaining 10,000 were sent to other departments including Rescue 1122.

He said that 8,000 surgical gloves and 8,000 surgical caps were also dispatched to health department while 10,000 surgical masks were sent to other relevant departments.

Mr Khan said that PDMA had already dispatched 5,000 personal protective kits to the district administrations and departments concerned fighting on the front line against Covid-19 in the province.

He said that 750 litres sanitiser and 8,000 gloves and other relief items were delivered to the district administrations for establishment of quarantine centres in their respective districts.

He said that provincial emergency operation centre was active round the clock with dedicated staff from PDMA, Rescue 1122 and doctors, who were continuously guiding people. PDMA can be contacted on toll free telephone numbers 1700 and 0800-01700.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2020