PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa govern­ment, in collaboration with the Na­tional Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is taking steps on emergency basis to enhance the capacity of public sector hospitals to the maximum pos­sible level in order to effectively deal with the Corona pandemic.

This was revealed here at a meet­ing with Chief Minister Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair to review the progress on capacity ex­pansion plan of public sector hospitals keeping in view the prevailing Corona situation.

The meeting was also attended by Provincial Minister for Health Tai­mur Jhagra, Advisor to CM Ajmal Wa­zir, Chairman NDMA Lt. Gen. Muham­mad Afzal, Director General National Command & Operation Centre Major General Asif Goraya and Chief Secre­tary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Dr. Kazim Niaz besides relevant administrative secretaries and representatives of 11 Corps.

The meeting was informed that in the first phase 478 High Dependen­cy Unit (HDU) beds will be added to the existing capacity by the end of this month and in the second phase 315 more beds will be added by the end of next month whereas 150 more beds will be added in the third phase. Simi­larly, steps will be taken to expand the capacity of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds of public sector hospitals for the Corona patients under a given time­line.

The meeting was also briefed in de­tails about the existing capacity of public sector hospitals of the prov­ince to deal with Corona patients, and steps being taken to augment the overall capacity of these hospitals to the maximum possible level.

As per the capacity expansion plan, 90 HDU beds would be added to the existing capacity of Hayatabad Med­ical Complex, 50 to Khyber Teaching Hospital, 40 to Mardan Medical Com­plex, 50 to Qazi Hussain Ahmad Hos­pital Nowshera, 50 to Saidu Group of Hospitals, 50 to Bacha Khan Medical Complex Swabi, 100 to Women & Chil­dren Hospital Rajjar and 48 HDU beds to Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad in the first phase of the plan.

Similarly, in the 2nd Phase 50 HDU beds will be added to the existing ca­pacity of Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital Bannu, 30 to Mufti Mehmood Memo­rial Hospital D.I.Khan, 50 to District Headquarter Hospital Batkhela and 85 to Institute of Hepthalogy Pesha­war, whereas 100 HDU beds will be added to the Women & Children Block of Ayub Teaching Hospital and 150 beds to Peshawar Institute of Cardiol­ogy in collaboration with NDMA in the next phase.

The meeting was further told that number of ICU beds were also being increased to facilitate the critical pa­tients of Corona virus, and in the first phase 25 ICU beds would be added to the existing strength of Lady Read­ing Hospital, 25 to Hayatabad Medical Complex, 25 to Khyber Teaching Hos­pital, 10 to Mardan Medical Complex, 10 to Qazi Hussain Ahmad Hospital Nowshera and 05 to Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad, and in the sec­ond Phase 50 ICU beds will be added to the existing number of ICU beds in Peshawar Institute of Cardiology.

On the occasion, the Chairman NDMA was briefed about the details of other medical equipments urgently required in the public sector hospitals of the province including ventilators, cardiac monitors, oxygen contrac­tors, PCR Machines and portable Ul­trasounds etc.

Chairman NDMA, assuring all out support to the provincial govern­ment in this regard, said that NDMA would arrange ventilators and oth­er allied facilities of Intensive Care for 350 patients of COVID-19 in the province within next 15 days. General Afzal also assured that NDMA would also extend all out support to the pro­vincial government in arranging oxy­gen cylinders, plasma machines and trained man power for Corona pa­tients.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan di­rected the authorities of health de­partment for necessary steps to make the existing Corona testing laborato­ries of public sector hospitals 24/7 in three different shifts in order to in­crease the daily testing capacity. He also directed the authorities to ar­range trained human resource for the purpose on emergency basis.

He expressed his gratitude to Chair­man NDMA for extending all out sup­port to the provincial government for capacity expansion of public sec­tor hospitals to enable the health in­frastructure effectively deal with the pandemic. Mahmood Khan also laud­ed the role of security forces in sup­porting the civil administration in dealing with Corona situation and expressed the hope that the govern­ment, with the support of security forces and other stakeholders, would be able to effectively deal with the Co­rona challenges.