Govt to have 20,000 COVID-19 testing capacity daily by April end: Mirza

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza on Wednesday said the government would have 20,000 COVID-19 diagnostic capacity per day by the end of this month.

“We are increasing our disease testing capacity day by day to effectively fight coronavirus,” Dr Mirza said in a televised daily briefing on COVID-19.

He said Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) today and appreciated the efforts being taken against coronavirus despite limited resources.

He added that the COAS was briefed about Covid-19 related multi-sectoral situation, implementation of National Coordination Committee’s decisions, projections about likely spread of the disease in Pakistan and support being extended to civil administration against the pandemic besides disease testing, isolation and quarantine mechanism.

Dr Zafar Mirza said that the role of Pakistan Army in fight against coronavirus was exemplary.

He said there would be a steering committee on COVID-19 having health ministers of all the provinces, beside those of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as its members.

He said the forum was important for making decisions and policies on testing, screening and quarantine, adding there would be a separate experts’ committee from all provinces.

He said in order to create awareness among public about preventive measures during Ramazan-ul-Mubarak, communication material had been prepared at NCOC.

Dr Zafar Mirza said 209 people had been tested positive of coronavirus, with 17 deaths in last 24 hours. He added 2,156 patients had recovered completely.

He advised people to strictly follow the social distancing and other precautionary measures to stem the increase in coronavirus cases.

He said citizens should continue implementing protective measures as per health officials’ directions to prevent from carrying coronavirus, adding the government was making all out efforts to send protective equipment guidelines to all doctors, paramedical health workers and all others who were connected with coronavirus patients.

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