MUZAFFARABAD, Nov 1: Pakistan appealed for antibiotics and painkillers on Tuesday as it raised the toll from last month’s devastating earthquake to 57,597 killed and nearly 79,000 injured.

The updated figures from Pakistan Federal Relief Commission brought the total official toll from the disaster to nearly 59,000 — including 1,309 confirmed deaths and 6,622 injuries on on the Indian side of the devastated Kashmir region.

Of those injured in Pakistan, over 29,000 were being treated in army and civil hospitals and more were in field hospitals and facilities run by non-governmental organizations, said the commission’s health chief, Maj-Gen Abdul Qadir Usmani.

At a meeting with aid workers and donors in Islamabad, the commission asked non-governmental organizations for more coordination in the massive international relief operation.

Andrew Macleod, operations chief of the UN emergency coordination cell in Pakistan, told the meeting this need was one of two major challenges, along with scarcity of donor funding.

The United Nations has complained that it has received only about 20 per cent of the funds it needs for emergency relief operations and has warned the coming winter could kill as many as died in the quake unless donors provide more resources soon.

Given the number of casualties and the fact many hospitals were destroyed and medical staff killed, Usmani called on donors to keep emergency field hospitals running until March.

In a statement the commission also called for medicines and equipment, including antibiotics, painkillers, dozens of operating tables and 100 specialist beds for spinal injuries.

NATO said on Tuesday it was setting up a hospital in the earthquake zone.—Reuters

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