ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is exporting COVID-19 equipment worth $100 million, and after the local production of ventilators, the exports will increase, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said a training group of 300 engineers would be formed to teach people how to operate the ventilators, whose production is expected to be complete within 60 days.
"The prime minister will hand over the [first tranche of] ventilators to the National Disaster Management Authority while returning from Lahore," the science minister said.
Chaudhry also revealed that two coronavirus testing kits had been designed and sent to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, of which one claims to provide results within 45 minutes.
“The testing kit, if approved, will available for home use,” he said, adding: “All of our indigenous products are of international standards, while those which were imported had quality issues."
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 testing kit developed by the National University of Science and Technology has been approved, he said.
Chaudhry said that on February 26, the first coronavirus case was detected, and on March 5 the country faced a shortage of hand sanitisers. "That was the point where we decide to embark on this journey."
"We brought onboard defence production institutions, Pakistan Engineering Council, NUST, COMSATS University, and several other varsities to initiate the production of Personal Protective Equipment and medical equipment," said the science minister.
He also said that Pakistan had started the production of N-95 masks and that a special economic zone would be set up for the medical industry.