Transparency ensured in procurement of PPE: NDMA chief – Newspaper


ISLAMABAD: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt-Gen Mohammad Afzal on Wednesday said all coronavirus protective equipment was procured in a transparent manner.

Speaking at a press conference, Lt-Gen Afzal said out of the total funds allocated to the authority for the purchase of masks, personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, only 50pc had so far been utilised.

The NDMA chief said the authority had adequate stocks of protective equipment which could cater to the needs of doctors and patients for the next month.

He said initially Pakistan was dependent on foreign-made equipment but now except ventilators, everything else was being manufactured by local companies.

“A total of 100,154 tons of goods/equipment were imported from China through 11 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) flights,” Lt-Gen Afzal said, adding that a high-level committee, comprising officials from different government departments, was constituted to ensure transparency and fairness in the procurement.

Says high-level committee monitors purchasing process

“The committee monitors each and every step of procurement,” he added.

He said as most of the items were being imported from China, a committee was also formed at Pakistan’s embassy in Beijing which ensured import of good quality equipment and timely procurement.

The high-powered committee, he said, also looked into the demands of provinces and ensured supply of required equipment to the provincial governments.

The NDMA chairman said: “As we had received complaints from some doctors that they were not getting PPE, I requested COAS (Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa) and now equipment is being provided to hospitals with the help of respective corps headquarters of the army.”

He said as a result of the local production of equipment, the cost of normal mask had dropped from Rs50 to Rs10 and N-95 mask is now available at Rs300 against its previous price of Rs2,000.

Gen Afzal said so far five tranches of equipment had been sent to provinces and a universal helpline 111-157-157 set up to receive complaints regarding unavailability of PPE and other material being used against the virus.

He said a quarantine centre established at Haji Camp in the capital was not being utilised as people of the area had demanded that such a centre should be away from populated areas.

He said a 250-bed hospital would be set up in Islamabad in 30 days.

APP adds: NDMA dispatched the fifth consignment of PPE for doctors and paramedics working in hospitals of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to better equip them to treat coronavirus patients.

According to a spokesman for the NDMA, the equipment dispatched to KP on Wednesday included 52,500 face masks, 25,473 other face masks, including N-95, 31,278 protective suits, 28,875 gloves, 7,917 shoe covers, 1,995 surgical caps, 4,200 face shields, 2,940 safety goggles and 2,100 surgical gowns for doctors.

Likewise, 10,500 face masks, 5,095 other masks, including N-95, 6,256 protective suits, 5,775 gloves, 1,583 shoe covers, 400 surgical caps, 840 face shields, 588 protective goggles and 430 surgical gowns for doctors have been sent to AJK hospitals.

Several sanitiser bottles of various sizes have also been sent to AJK and KP hospitals, he said.

The PPE in the fifth batch had already been sent to Balochistan. Whereas the delivery of PPE to hospitals of Punjab, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan was underway.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2020


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