ISLAMABAD, Jun 12 (APP):A number of emergency measures were undertaken to fortify the health systems by the federal and provincial governments to limit the spread of the virus in face of the rising cases of COVID-19 suspects and confirmations.
According to the Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2020-21, in order to deal with the COVID-19 the national response has been coordinated with health and national security working hand-in-hand.
This was critical to integrate health system and other sectors to amplify the national capacity to absorb and adapt to the COVID-19 shock.
Make shift institutional arrangements like National Command and Control Centre (NCOC), National Coordination Committee (NCC) and Task Forces were established by the National Security Committee with supporting structures at provincial levels with multi-sectoral representation.
The steps taken including movement restrictions of millions with complete
shut-downs, establishment of comprehensive point-of-entry protocols, establishment of 294 quarantine facilities with 139,558 beds, arrangement of surge capacities for hospitals by identifying 566 hotels with 16,336 beds, establishment of 217 isolation facilities with 119,778 beds for case management, engagement of medical and nursing students, local production of personal protective equipment, establishment
of COVID-19 helplines and information portals overnight to ensure timely communication to the public.
Similarly, surgical and N-95 masks, gloves, PPE gear, PCR testing kits and thermal guns have been procured urgently and stockpiles are being maintained foreseeing the expected exponential price hike in the next few weeks due to global shortage and demand. Donations of equipment and supplies through partner organizations and development partners have been secured.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) acquired the requisite capability for COVID-19 diagnostics on 1st February, 26 days before appearance of the first case in the country, with the current daily national testing capacity standing at 2500-3000 tests through 18 laboratories nationwide.