LAHORE - National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said on Wednesday that as per directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, intervention of oxygen beds was being made in hospitals all over Pakistan and in Lahore, 330 oxygen beds had already entered into operational phase.

Talking to the media here at King Edward Medical University (KEMU), he said that such interventions would also be made in other big cities of Punjab such as Sialkot, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Multan in the second phase.

In addition to this, he said, there was also a plan to set up ICUs (Intensive Care Units) in small cities of Punjab, including Jhelum, Khushab and D.G.Khan or Rajanpur. “Such ICUs are also being set up in small  cities of other provinces,” he told the media.

Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal said that intervention of 500 beds was being made in hospitals of Karachi, which is in final stages; 70 beds are being made operational in Rawalpindi;60 beds in three cities of AJK (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) and 100 beds in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He continued that 200 beds had been made operational in Quetta yesterday; 330 beds

in Lahore and 320 beds were made operational in KP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province).

In the first phase, he said, around 1,434 beds had been made operational. “Out of these, 20 percent beds are fitted with ventilators; 40 percent with by-pipes and the remaining 40 percent are meant for the patients needing low-pressure oxygen,” he elaborated.

The NDMA chairman said that interventions were being made at around 25 hospitals  of the country, adding, “I hope, we will make 2,500 beds, having oxygen and  other-related equipment, operational at various places of the country by the end of this month.”

The NDMA, he said, was also facilitating the doctors and the paramedical staff by providing to them protective kits and testing equipment etc.

Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal highly appreciated the services of doctors and the paramedical  staff, praising them as frontline fighters in war against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also paid homage to all those doctors and the paramedics who sacrificed their lives to cure their compatriots. “They are fighting out coronavirus very effectively, and we are successful in this war,” he added.