ISLAMABAD: A team of Pakistani engineers is working tirelessly to repair out of order ventilators catering to the growing demand of medical equipment resulting from global pandemic, said the country’s minister for defense production on Wednesday.
“NRTC [National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation], which is also an establishment of defense production, is repairing out of order ventilators to deal with the shortage of the much-needed medical equipment, Zubaida Jalal told Arab News after her visit to NRTC and Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) which is also manufacturing face masks, hand sanitizers and other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to contribute in the national fight against coronavirus outbreak.
She said, “109 ventilators were repaired and sent back to hospitals in the last 18 days by our volunteer engineers and technicians,” adding that “our team is working tirelessly to repair another 690 faulty ventilators.”
Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Center revealed on Monday that the country only had 3,844 ventilators and 20 labs capable of conducting COVID-19 tests.
Out of these, the authority said 1,697 ventilators were in Punjab, 1,550 in Sindh, 400 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 74 in Baluchistan, 47 in Islamabad Capital Territory and 13 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
“A team which started from three volunteers has grown to more than 100 specialized ventilator experts who are working free of cost,” said Jalal, adding that “our volunteer teams are providing services in 23 cities of Pakistan.”
“These true sons of our soil have been running around the hospitals during lockdown on their own and even purchasing parts from their own pocket to bring these breathing machines to life in this time of crisis,” the minister added.
She said that private hospitals could also seek help from these engineers if they agree to provide free medical help to coronavirus patients.
“Already nine private hospitals are employing services of our engineers with the pledge to provide free of cost treatment to COVID-19 patients,” Jalal said.
The NRTC engineers are also working in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), she informed.
The ministry of defense production said in an official handout released on March 25 that the country’s ordnance factories had attained the capability to produce 25,000 Face Masks and 10,000 liters of Hand Sanitizers on a daily basis to complement the ongoing national drive to fight COVID-19.