ISLAMABAD            -        National Assembly (NA) Stand­ing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) on Friday ex­pressed concern over the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) tests being conducted in the coun­try urging the Health Ministry to increase the capacity of tests.

The meeting of the Senate Stand­ing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) was held under the chairmanship of Dr. Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla.

Discussing the situation of COV­ID-19 in the country, the commit­tee members expressed concerns over the stats given by the health ministry regarding COVID-19 tests.

During the meeting, MNA Nisar Cheema said that the government conducted 22000 tests in July which would have been 50000, while the Prime Minister himself said the system of corona testing is being improved.

MNA Mahesh Kumar Milani said that around 1.5 million people in the country could be infected with the COVID-19.

The committee also strong­ly expressed its concern over the non-availability of the Oxygen Gas and medicines in the dispensary of Parliament Lodges for Parlia­mentarians affected by COVID-19.

Special Assistant to Prime Minis­ter (SAPM) Dr. Zafar Mirza direct­ed the concerned authorities to take action in this regard and as­sured the committee that the min­istry would ensure the availabili­ty of Oxygen and medicines in the dispensary of Parliament Lodges.

The committee further directed the ministry to ensure the testing of labour working in the Parlia­ment Lodges in order to overcome the spread of disease.

Dr. Zafar Mirza apprised the committee about the current sit­uation of the coronavirus and ef­forts being made by them to stop the spread of the disease in the country.

He said that the government had made SOPs under the National Command and Control Center and ensured its enforcement through local administrations.

While briefing about the en­hancement of testing capacity, he said that the ministry had focused to enhance its testing capacity and a comprehensive plan has been prepared in this regard.

He further said that due to the current economic situation it is impossible to implement complete lockdown in the country, however, the government is focusing on the smart lockdown policy and the re­sults of its implementation in dif­ferent areas of Islamabad is quite satisfactory and only 113 cas­es COVID-19 positive out of 3000 tests conducted in last 24 hours.

He said that the federal govern­ment will provide 1000 oxygen­ated beds along with ventilators and other supported equipment to provincial governments by the end of June, 2020. Moreover, 1100 oxygenated beds would also be provided to the provincial govern­ments in July, he said.

He further said that about 5000 health workers would be trained in collaboration with Chinese ex­perts out of which 1000 have al­ready been trained for critical care management.

The committee deferred the Pa­kistan Health Research Coun­cil (Amendment) Bill, 2020”, The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and “The Prohibition of Smok­ing and Protection of Non-Smokers Health (Amendment) Bill, 2019 till its next meeting.

The MNAs including Nasir Khan Musa Zai, Jai Parkash, Fauzia Beh­ram, Dr. Naureen Farooq Khan, Prof. Shahnaz Naseer Baloch, Dr. Nisar Ahmed Cheema, Dr. Samina Matloob, Dr. Darshan, Dr. Mahesh Kumar Malani, Dr. Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro, James Iqbal and Ramesh Lal attended the meeting