KARACHI - Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly, Firdous Shamim Naqvi on Monday staged a protest against K-Electric (KE) along with other PTI MNAs and MPAs outside the KE head office on loadshedding. He said that KE had exhausted Karachiites patience and they could not tolerate more its unjust attitude towards citizens of the metropolis.

He said that Minister of Power should join the protest until the electricity issue was resolved, according to a communique.

Firdous Shamim said, ‘We have tolerated so much and we cannot have patience more.’ He said that they did not want to flock of people in view of Covid-19 in the sit-in.

He further said they wanted to inform K-Electric that they could not further tolerate its electricity loadshedding.

Comstech, OIC institutes to develop diagnostic kits

COMSTECH in collaboration with the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi is planning to help the OIC institutions in developing diagnostic kits for COVID-19.

This was stated by COMSTECH Coordinator General Prof. Dr. Iqbal Choudhary while addressing an online meeting with scientists and heads of the virology diagnostic laboratories of OIC institutions network belonging to Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Gambia, Sénégal, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Egypt. The meeting was aimed at exploring avenues of intra-OIC collaboration for capacity building of the laboratories.

Prof. Iqbal Choudhary, who is also heading the ICCBS - University of Karachi, told the meeting that,  “COMSTECH offers two online training courses in collaboration with the ICCBS-University of Karachi and National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad this year for building capacities of scientists in testing and developing diagnostic kits for COVID-19.”

COMSTECH has submitted a proposal to Islamic Development Bank to further enhance testing capacities of OIC member states, he said, adding that this proposal aims to enhance testing capacities of the targeted countries by developing RT Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) and Antibodies based detection kits for the SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. These kits can be used without sophisticated diagnostic infrastructure, he said. It is pertinent to mention here that as many as 17 OIC institutions have already showed their interest in benefiting from this opportunity.

All participants offered their full support to COMSTECH intra-OIC cooperation initiative for coping with the current and any future pandemics.

The participants of the meeting underlines the importance of assessing the current available facilities, resources and workforce, equipping the labs with minimum standards, supporting technology transfer, training of technicians and ensuring the availability of skilled manpower, and initiating collaborative projects.

Meanwhile, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), the country’s recognized tertiary medical care institution has reiterated that its mandated clinical activities are continuing unhampered along with facilities that are earmarked for the patients of COVID-19. A spokesman of the Institute while highlighting the performance of the Institute during past four months on Monday said that in March this year when the pandemic started surfacing, the Institute took a historic decision and stepped forward voluntarily by initiating its professional services for incoming patients of coronavirus.

Those were the days when coronavirus patients were rising in multiple number every day.

According to the spokesman the decision on the part of SIUT was taken purely on humanitarian ground with prime objective to mitigate the suffering of the population beside supplementing the efforts of government general hospitals who were found grappling the situation in a metropolis with a massive population of 20 million. Decision on the part of SIUT to adopt and create new facilities for corona patients was not easy without disturbing their immunocompromised patients of dialysis, transplant and cancer SIUT the spokesman added.

The brunt of these patients the spokesman pointed out is always faced by Institute as no one has expertise and infrastructure to attend these patients therefore SIUT was converted into the largest medical establishment of the country treating immunocompromised coronavirus patients.

Till middle of June last over 7800 patients who were screened at SIUT including some 1003 patients were treated by SIUT personnel, the spokesman disclosed.

The services provided by SIUT include testing, case tracing, disease monitoring, infection prevention and follow up care of patient. All the treatment was free with dignity a corner stone of SIUT philosophy.

Tracing the history of SIUT the spokesman recalled that the Institute has always played in due role in meeting the medical challenges at the time of national calamities and disasters.





Nurses protest non-payment

of salaries

A large number of nurses staged a protest near the Sindh Chief Minister’s House at PIDC traffic intersection on Monday.

They demanded that the government make payment of their outstanding salaries and regularise their services.

The protesters attempted to march towards the CM House to present their demands to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah but police as well as officials of the district administration present there didn’t let them go.

They said as many as 2,384 nurses were recruited to perform duties in Covid-19 wards but they have been deprived of their salaries for the last three months. The protesters demanded the government to immediately release their salaries and regularise their services.

However, the Sindh Health Department said the protesting nurses were appointed on a three-month contractual basis. Their contracts have been renewed for another three months upon expiry, it added.