The US on Thursday provided Pakistan 100 ventilators to help it fight the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed nearly 6,000 lives and infected over 277,000 people in the country.
The US embassy in Islamabad said in a statement that the shipment was handed over to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority as a symbol of “working together to fight COVID-19”.
The ventilators, provided through the US Agency for International Development, arrived in Islamabad on July 28 and will be deployed in hospitals across Pakistan, it said.
“The arrival of these ventilators delivers on President Donald Trump’s promise to Prime Minister Imran Khan to stand with the people of Pakistan and bring additional critically needed supplies and support to Pakistan’s urgent response to the pandemic,” the embassy said.
The first batch of 100 ventilators had arrived on July 3 and have already been delivered to hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Pakistan.
“The United States is a proud partner with the Government of Pakistan to help stem the tide of this deadly pandemic and these ventilators will help with that fight,” US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul W Jones said.
The ventilators can also be used to provide non-invasive respiratory therapy for patients before they become critically ill and help avoid the need for more extreme care. They can help treat a number of other respiratory ailments outside of the COVID-19 virus, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Through a specialised training programme developed with the National Disaster Management Authority and the Federal and Provincial Ministries of Health, and with funding from USAID, Pakistan will have a stronger arsenal with which to fight COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, said the embassy.
It said that the US-Pakistan partnership in the health sector was strengthening the country’s ability to fight coronavirus by improving and expanding laboratory testing, disease monitoring, case tracking, infection prevention and control, and patient care.
The United States is contributing more than USD 28 million in new funding so far for COVID-19 response to this vital partnership that is growing every day, the embassy said.
A ventilator takes over the body”s breathing process when disease has caused the lungs to fail. This gives the patient time to fight off the infection and recover.
Pakistan’s coronavirus tally reached 277,402 with the detection of 1,114 new cases, with the nationwide death toll standing at 5,924, the Ministry of National Health Services said on Thursday.