ISLAMABAD: The second shipment of 100 respiratory ventilators has arrived from the United States and will be deployed in hospitals across the country to help the patients of coronavirus recover from the disease.

The ventilators were delivered on President Donald Trump’s promise to Prime Minister Imran Khan to stand by the people of Pakistan and bring additional supplies and support to Pakistan’s response to the pandemic.

The first shipment of 100 ventilators arrived on July 3 and they have already been delivered to hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Pakistan.

The National Disaster Manag­e­ment Authority (NDMA) and the US government, through USAID, are working toge­ther to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“The United States is a proud partner with the government of Pakistan to help stem the tide of this deadly pandemic and these ventilators will help with that fight,” said Ambassador Paul W. Jones.

The ventilators can also be used to provide non-invasive respiratory therapy for patients before they become critically ill and help avoid the need for more extreme care. In addition, these ventilators can help treat a number of other respiratory ailments outside of the C-19 virus, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Through a specialised training programme developed with the NDMA and the federal and provincial ministries of health, and with funding from USAID, Pakistan will have a stronger arsenal with which to fight Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses, said a press release issued by the US Embassy on Thursday.

The US-Pakistan longstanding partnership in the health sector is strengthening the country’s ability to fight coronavirus by improving and expanding laboratory testing, disease monitoring, case tracking, infection prevention and control, and patient care. The US is contributing more than $28 million in new funding so far for Covid-19 response to this vital partnership.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Health Services has distributed nine tonnes of personal protective equipment among health workers, utilising a grant assistance of $500,000 from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and technical support from Unicef.

Ten kinds of protective equipment from the shipment were given to doctors, nurses and other medical staff working in five major health facilities of the Capital Territory Area.

“We are fully committed to helping Pakistan manage the impact of Covid-19 and continue to work closely with the government and development partners to enable this,” said ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang.

“The supplies distributed through our partnership with Unicef will provide vital protection to frontline health workers and patients in their time of urgent need. We will continue to work with Unicef to help strengthen Pakistan’s immediate public health response, address the needs of the pandemic and enable the country to move towards economic recovery as quickly and safely as possible.”

Unicef Representative in Pakistan Aida Girma thanked the ADB for its generous donation of critical emergency supplies.

It will help frontline workers deal with the pandemic and support the government’s enduring efforts to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2020