KARACHI         -             The capacity of The Indus Hospital

(TIH) to diagnose coronavirus

(Covid-19) infection has increased

manifold as the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD) and University of Karachi

(KU) have joined hands with the hospital.This was stated by Director of International Center for Chemical

and Biological Sciences (ICCBS)

of KU Professor Dr M. Iqbal Choudhary at a press conference here at the National Institute of Virology on Saturday.He said the National Institute of Virology had provided four Real-Time PCR machines and qualified

experts to the hospital so that the latter could be relieved of the ever increasing burden of diagnosing the virus. The meeting

was also attended by Dr Muhammad

Rashid, senior research officer at the institute of virology, Dr Ammar Ather and other scientists.

Professor Choudhary said, “The hospital, which is working in collaboration with the Government

of Sindh, is facing immense pressure due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Sindh.”“Currently, the major challenge in Pakistan is very limited diagnostic

capabilities,” he said, adding that the WHO had declared

the timely diagnosis of the disease as a major step towards stopping the spread of COVID-19, as undetected infected

individuals were the biggest

source of infecting others.In view of the current health challenges, Dr Panjwani Center

for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research had decided to run a major joint operation with the Indus Hospital, the largest charity health establishment

of Pakistan, and had placed four state-of-the-art RT-PCR machines, and trained Reactions)

are the sophisticated machines

on which actual tests of COVID -19 are carried out,” he explained.He further said, “The Indus Hospital

is currently the “epicenter” of all COVID-19 related activities in Sindh, which is the worst hit province of Pakistan, with 65 percent confirmed cases.”Through the help of the ICCBS, the current testing capacity of the Indus lab had increased from 800 to 2,400 daily, he elaborated.“

We think it is an excellent example

of a university based research center helping the national

health care system at the time of national health emergency,”

Professor Chaudhry said, and added that precaution was the only weapon to fight against the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus.He said the National Institute of Virology, which worked under

the Dr Panjwani Center, was working to produce quality researches

and researchers who could play their due role in the development of the country. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Muhammad Rashid, a virology expert, said people must avoid public gatherings.He said that people should refrain

from going to large grocery

stores and shopping malls. “Open-street shops, where people are not gathered in large numbers are a better option for buying groceries,” he said, and added that children should not be allowed to go outside as these holidays were announced in case of an emergency, not for a picnic.Dr Ammar Ather said that citizens

must take preventive measures

that could keep them safe against the deadly virus. He said that citizens were advised to practice the best hygiene, and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap