SAPM Zafar Mirza advises against excessive use of PPE at hospitals

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Thursday advised against excessive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) at hospitals saying that it was only meant for medics treating COVID-19 patients.

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Addressing a presser, he said that provision of the PPE to front line health workers was ongoing and the material should be used as per the guidelines.

“Excessive use of the material is being observed,” he said adding that the guidelines provided to hospitals outline the details of professionals allowed to use the equipment.

He said that they were adopting a systematic procedure to avoid shortage of the equipment. “We have already dispatched the equipment needed for a week to the 152 hospitals designated to treat coronavirus patients across the country,” Zafar Mirza said.

The special assistant said that a central database of the testing kits was also being established in order to ensure proper supply of it across the country. “We will be supplying testing kits to 400 hospitals,” he said.

Dr Zafar Mirza said that fortunately their early estimates regarding rise in coronavirus cases in the country have proved wrong  due to lockdown and social distancing measures.

However, he said that it would be not wise to remain satisfied and return to a normal routine. “We should adopt more measures to avoid spread of the virus to succeed our previous efforts,” he said.

He said that there was shortage of ventilators in the country and the government has encouraged local manufacturing of it. “We want people to invest in it to overcome the shortage and anyone eyeing to manufacture it should approach DRAP for approval,” Zafar Mirza said.

The SAPM on health affairs said that currently 44,896 coronavirus tests have been performed in the country including  2,737 tests during the last 24 hours.

“Out of total tests during 24-hour, 248 have tested positive for it,” he said adding that the number of recoveries from the virus have improved significantly at national and international level.

He said that around 63 people have so far died from the virus in Pakistan.

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