Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday said that researchers across Pakistan were working on the production of indigenous ventilators.
“Presently, all ventilators used inside the country are being procured from China by the National Disaster Management Authority,” he said in a talk show of a private news channel.
The total number of these machines at hospitals across the country is 2,200 of which 1,500 are in working condition. “We aim to double this amount to 3,000 for which it is necessary that we produce ventilators ourselves instead of importing them,” the minister said.
A decision regarding the matter will be taken during a meeting of the Pakistan Engineering Council today, he said. “I’m sure that we will be successful in this project,” Separately, scientists and students have been working on developing coronavirus testing kits and hand sanitisers locally. They have been successful in doing so, according to the minister.
“We have been producing hand sanitisers since news of a shortage came out,” he said. “More than 1,500 bottles are being produced every day and we are planning to increase the number to 8,000.” A 100 milliliter bottle of hand sanitiser costs Rs 450.
The National University of Science and Technology has also developed testing kits for COVID-19 locally. “We are waiting for final approvals after which the kits will be introduced in the market,” Chaudhry said.
He pointed that as these kits were cheaper than the imported ones, more people would be tested through them.
The minister added that a team led by Dr Attaur Rahman was also closely working with the World Health Organisation for the development of an anti-coronavirus vaccine.