KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday approved purchase of six new Rapid Testing Machines and 300,000 testing kits so that testing capacity of COVID-19 in public sector could be enhanced.

He took this decision while presiding over a meeting to review the available stock of the kits to test coronavirus suspects and existing capacity of testing per day.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Health Dr Azra Pechuho, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Health Dr Zahid Abbasi, Secretary Investment Najam shah, Dr Bari of Indus Hospital, Dr Saba Jamal, Dr Saeed Khan of Dow Lab and MB Dharejo.

The Chief Minister was told that around 7500 testing kits were available with the provincial government and the stock was considered to be enough for next seven days. At this, the Chief Minister directed the health department to purchase 300,000 more kits so that enough stock could be made available.

The experts pointed out that 200,000 testing kits could be purchased from UK firm. These kits have already been approved by the technical committee. The Chief Minister approved the proposal and directed Indus Hospital to place the order and try to receive the consignment within next 15 days.

The Chief Minister was told that the testing capacity in the province had been enhanced from 200 to 2020 per day. Murad Ali Shah said that it should be at least 5000 per day. The experts told him that the capacity could be enhanced when new PCR machines were purchased. The CM on the recommendation of the technical committee approved purchase of six PCR machines meant for setting up testing system.

Murad Shah also approved purchase of Rapid Testing Machine along with 100,000 testing kits from Canada. The meeting decided to order the purchase of the machine and kits by Saturday evening.

New COVID-19 Unit

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed health department to establish a coronavirus Patients unit at Services Hospital, Karachi. He ordered repair of the wards, purchase of necessary equipments and posting of doctors and para medical staff. He ordered immediate release of Rs 13.4 million for establishment of the unit. Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi on the directive of the Chief Minister released the funds to health department.