NCOC meeting informed there are sufficient beds and ventilators available nationwide for patients who require them
A special meeting of the National Coordination Committee for COVID-19 has been summoned for June 1 (Monday) to finalize a strategy for the coming month to tackle the ongoing pandemic, and deliberate on extending or removing whichever lockdown restrictions are still in place, Planning Minister Asad Umar announced on Friday.
Chairing a meeting at the National Command and Control Center, Umar urged officials concerned to devise a mechanism under which patients could be provided up-to-date information on the availability of beds and ventilators in nearby hospitals to protect them from having to go to multiple facilities to find relief.
“This information would facilitate the infected people to get admission in hospitals as per their own preference,” he said. The representatives of all four provinces, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Islamabad expressed satisfaction over the working of the resource management facility to monitor availability of essential healthcare infrastructure.
During the meeting, the participants were informed that there were sufficient beds and ventilators available in hospitals across the country to cater to COVID-19 patients, as a majority of infected prefer to isolate at their homes.
Despite these claims, healthcare professionals in recent days have said that they have had to turn away patients due to lack of beds. They have also warned that the country is rapidly approaching a point where the infrastructure will be too overburdened to treat any new patients.
The NCC meeting, meanwhile, also reviewed progress on the implementation of various COVID-19 guidelines and preventative measures. Special Assistant to the P.M. on National Security Moeed Yousaf informed the NCOC about the latest plan of bring back stranded Pakistanis, as well as the testing protocol for suspected coronavirus patients.
The NCC had last met on May 7, when it had announced a series of exemptions to lockdown measures. However, in light of the spread of COVID-19, it had decided to extend some restrictions until May 31. Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly voiced his disagreement with any brand of lockdown, saying it would cause irreparable harm to the country’s economy, and risked having more people die of hunger than coronavirus.