KARACHI: A battalion of Army Medical Corps from Malir Cantonment, comprising doctors, paramedics, nurses, pathologists and technicians, will arrive at the Expo Centre Karachi today to help establish a 10,000-bed field hospital.
The hospital will be established to isolate and treat confirmed patients of the coronavirus in a safe and secure environment, away from common people and other patients in the city.
The Medical Corps of the Pakistan Army has come forward to help in the establishment of the field hospital on the request of the Sindh government.
“The Sindh government will bear all expenses for the establishment of the facility,” Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had said on Thursday.
“Initially, the Medical Corps battalion will establish a 500-bed isolation and treatment facility in one of the halls of the Expo Centre, and if need arose, more halls would be utilised to add more facilities,” he added.
The decision to establish the field hospital was taken at meeting between Singh government officials and Corps Commander Karachi Lt-General Humayun Aziz.
Provincial ministers, including Dr Azra Pechuho and Saeed Ghani, law adviser Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mahar, Sajid Jamal Abro and health department’s focal person, MB Dharejo, were also present in the meeting.
In the first phase, one hall of the Expo Centre would be converted into an isolation centre. In the first hall, beds, medicines and necessary equipment would be made available, as the Medical Corps, civil doctors, and paramedical staff are deployed at the field hospital.
On the occasion, CM Shah said that he had made over 16,000 swabs/VTMs and 13,000 testing kits available to test coronavirus infection in the province. “But we will have to enhance our testing capacity, which is limited to only 600,” he lamented.
During the meeting, it was also decided that due to the ongoing partial lockdown in the province, the government would distribute 2,000,000 ration bags among the poor segment of society.
“With the closure of malls, restaurants or what is being termed a partial lockdown, we have tried to slow down the spread of coronavirus so that necessary arrangements for establishing isolation centres and field hospitals could be made accordingly,” the chief minister said.
Corps Commander Karachi Lt-General Humayun Aziz appreciated timely efforts of the provincial government and emphasised the need for providing ration to daily-wagers and other poor people so that their food requirements could continue to be met.