ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan recently inaugurated the country`s first indigenous ventilators` manufacturing facility.
Separately, the prime minister in a video conference with the director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the matter of coronavirus-related travel restrictions on Pakistan and sought his cooperation in the withdrawal of those curbs.
“It is a landmark achievement for the country and I
congratulate the entire team,” Mr Khan said after inaugurating the ventilators
factory at the National Radio and Telecommunications Corporation (NRTC) in
He said the government`s focus would now be on reforming the
health sector. `Our approach in response to the pandemic and adopting smart
lockdown while keeping the economy afloat has been widely acknowledged and now
our focus will be on comprehensive health reforms.
The prime minister lauded the initiative taken by the NRTC
and the Ministry of Science and Technology for producing ventilators
Mr Khan said the country had no dearth of talent to become
self-reliant in new technologies and the government would extend support to all
such initiatives to encourage the potential of youth.
Later, PM Khan went around various sections of the NRTC. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, PM`s Focal Person forCOVID-19 Dr Faisal Sultan and NDMA chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal were present on the occasion.
NRTC managing director Brig Tofique Ahmed briefed the prime minister about the history, sectors of research and development, products, and services being provided by the NRTC. He said NRTC was indigenously making communications equipment, electromedical equipment, and hardware and software for this equipment.
Later, Prime Minister Khan during a video conference with WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom spoke about efforts made by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan.
According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister
Office, Mr Khan apprised the WHO chief on the progress made by Pakistan in containing
the spread of coronavirus. Mr Adhanom appreciated the steps taken by the
Pakistan government in fighting the pandemic.
Mr Khan appreciated the support provided by WHO to Pakistan
and other countries in the fight against COVID-19.
He highlighted Pakistan`s strategy of deploying scientific
and data-driven interventions as well as rapid upgrades of healthcare
facilities while attempting to maintain a balance between life and livelihood
that has yielded positive results with a downward trend in the spread of the
He said travel restrictions imposed by developed countries
due to COVID-19 were increasing economic difficulties for developing countries
that were already fighting hard to mitigate adverse impacts of the pandemic on
He called upon WHO to play its role in engaging member states to remove COVID related travel restrictions on Pakistan and other countries and work towards a data-driven system of non-discriminatory travel rules.
Dr Adhanom said that WHO was working on virus-related travel guidelines to help the international community make its travel decisions in the light of these guidelines.