Australia could help Pakistan to increase its capacity to test COVID-19

An effort with the National Health Institute (NIH) has been launched by the Australian High Commission to assist increase the test capacities of COVID-19 across Islamabad and the 4 provincial capitals of Pakistan. The Australia grant is administered via the National Disaster Risk Management Fund by the Asian Development Bank (NDRMF).

Australia's support is intended to increase the genomic sequence capacity of novel variations to be detected early. This involves teaching 500 health workers to properly and effectively use modern laboratory equipment.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and NDRMF are fast-tracking project implementation to assist the COVID-19 preparedness and response plan for the pandemic and the safety of the vulnerable.

"Australia stands in the struggle against COVID-19 with the people and government of Pakistan. In particular, when novel variations arise," Australia High Commissioner, Dr. Geoffrey Shaw, said. "The capacity building of laboratories is critical to avoid viral transmission.

The NIH is the latest effort in a number of Australia's COVID-19 responses to Pakistan. Australian contribution to the Vaccine Facility for Equal Access to 92 countries including Pakistan has also been given by AUD 130 million by Australia.

'As during vaccination stage of this epidemic, worldwide lessons continue to underline the need for preparation for public health. Australia is happy to help Pakistan in carrying out simultaneous COVID-19 surveillance and vaccination," stated Shaw.

"NIH is deeply appreciative of Australia's pandemic management funding," stated General Major Aamer Ikram, Chief Executive Officer. The project aims to update NIH equipment and increase our capacity for diagnosis."

In Pakistan's drive to fight COVID-19 the help of Australia would be quickly used.

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