ABBOTTABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan said on Wednesday that the provincial government is utilising all its resources to meet the challenge of coronavirus.

During his visit to Abbottabad, Mehmood Khan appreciated the services of frontline workers in this critical time. He said that the government has increased its testing capacity for COVID-19 which will enable it to diagnose the patients in time. He said the provincial government is making efforts to increase the testing capacity to 5,000 tests per day. Currently, the testing capacity of KP is 1,000 per day.

The chief minister said the provincial government started from the scratch and in the beginning it had the capacity to conduct only 40 tests. He said the government will increase its capacity to 5,000 tests per day. He said with more tests, the government will have a proper understanding of the massive challenge being posed by the virus. During the visit, the chief minister also got briefing about quarantine centres and isolation wards in Abbottabad specified for coronavirus patients.

Meanwhile, KP Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra said KP has enhanced COVID-19 testing capacity from zero to 1,200 in little over a month.

The minister said in a tweet that Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad has now been authorised to KP’s corona virus testing labs to support testing in the Hazara region. He said that KP was the only province providing a daily breakdown detailing the number of tests conducted.

“In just over a month, our capacity has increased from zero to 1,200, with Ayub Teaching Hospital in Abbottabad, Saidu Teaching Hospital in Swat, and Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar now also being fully certified for corona testing, and DI Khan next. “We will expand to Mardan, Swabi, Kohat, Bannu, LRH and KTH next,” he said in another tweet.

Meanwhile, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a statement that coronavirus may peak in Pakistan in end May or start of June. He said Pakistan has not seen the peak of the virus, but everyone must remain prepared for it.

The minister said Pakistan is an economically weak country and it cannot afford permanent lockdown.