Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: Pakistan starts local production of ventilators to fight Covid-19

Waheed Abbas /Dubai
Filed on July 5, 2020 | Last updated on July 5, 2020 at 10.16 am
Combating coronavirus, Pakistan, starts, local production, ventilators, fight, Covid-19

(Supplied photo)

Around 12 ventilators have already been manufactured in the initial phase.

Pakistan has now joined the league of countries that are manufacturing their own ventilators at a commercial scale.

Around 12 ventilators have already been manufactured in the initial phase and production will be increased to 300 ventilators in the coming weeks, says Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan's Minister for Science and Technology.

The ventilators have been developed by the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technology, to support the nation's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Local production of ventilators will meet the country's requirement. Hospitals that don't have the know-how to operate ventilators can seek help from the Ministry of Science and Technology. We have created a group of 300 engineers to assist hospitals in training their healthcare workers," said Chaudhry.

He added that three more institutions are working to manufacture ventilators which will enable the country to export them in the months ahead.

The minister told Khaleej Times in an interview earlier, that the country is aiming to become not just self-sufficient in essential medical equipment like masks, sanitisers, ventilators and oxygenators, but will also be exporting them to help other countries in their fight against the pandemic.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the South Asian country totalled 225,000 on Saturday, with recoveries reaching over 125,000 and casualties hitting 4,619.

New Covid-19 cases averaged 3,000 to 4,000 per day in the previous few weeks but the numbers dropped during late June to below 3,000. Senior officials said that while the country's overall coronavirus situation was getting better, there is a significant lack of improvement in Sindh, particularly in the regional capital Karachi.

Syed Amir, general manager for the National Radio Telecommunication Corporation, said that the made-in-Pakistan ventilators are portable and can be deployed at home, hospitals or in ambulances, and that they conform to global standards.

"We have been collaborating with Turkish companies for 40 years and have been producing these ventilators under a licence agreement with one particular Turkish company. The entity is approved by the US regulator Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We are producing ventilators at a very low-cost under transfer of technology programme," said Amir.

"Currently, we can manufacture 50 to 100 ventilators in a week and can increase production to 250-300 per week in three week's time with a single shift," said Amir.

Pakistan Engineering Council has also approved the new ventilators and confirmed that their quality is to meet the global standards. 

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