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Isolation centres at Expo Centre, PAF Museum to be wound up

Isolation centres at Expo Centre, PAF Museum to be wound up

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to close its two field isolation centres, set up in the wake of Covid-19 emergency situation, at the Expo Centre and PAF Museum in the city.

This decision was taken during a meeting of the coronavirus emergency fund (CEF) chaired by Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah on Monday.

While presiding over the meeting, the chief secretary said that the approval in this regard would be sought from the Sindh chief minister by sending a summary regarding the closure of the two isolation centres.

Mr Shah said that the isolation centres should be closed as the number of Covid-19 patients had decreased and there was enough space available in the province’s hospitals to treat the patients there.

CM Murad Ali Shah will formally authorise closure of two facilities in view of reduced Covid-19 cases

He directed the health department to make an inventory of all the equipment and machinery available in the field isolation centres and take it in its possession.

He said that now that the educational institutions were opening, the health department should have ample supply of testing kits.

The CEF was established by the Sindh government on March 18, to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic through immediate mobilisation of required resources.

‘CEF fund spent transparently’

A high-powered committee, headed by the chief secretary, was also constituted to manage the various activities of CEF.

In order to ensure transparency and technically sound decisions, the committee had adequate representation of private sector with requisite technical expertise.

These include Dr Abdul Bari, the chief executive officer of the Indus Hospital, renowned philanthropist Mushtaq Chhapra and Faisal Edhi. Other members of the committee include the provincial secretaries of the finance and health departments.

It was informed in the meeting that more than Rs3.64 billion was deposited in the fund and currently there was Rs800 million left since the remaining amount was incurred on the purchase of PCR testing kits, rapid testing kits, ventilators, PPE suits, oxygen cylinders, N-95 and surgical masks, thermal guns, sanitizers and establishment of field isolation centres.

During the meeting, the chief secretary said that the CEF was used in a transparent manner. “All purchases made from the fund are being audited and inspected by independent audit firms.”

He further said that Mr Edhi and Mr Chhapra were also included in the committee to keep the spending transparent.

He directed the health department to install all the ventilators and other equipment procured from the CEF in the hospitals and further upgrade the hospitals in the province.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2020

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