NIPA hospital ideal site for coronavirus treatment center: Altaf Shakoor

Karachi:     A ready building of government hospital at NIPA Chowrangi Karachi is one of the ideal sites to set up a coronavirus treatment center, said Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Wednesday.

He said the megacity Karachi needs as many healthcare facilities as possible to fight coronavirus. He said the ready building of the NIPA hospital, which is idle should be immediately converted into a coronavirus hospital and this task should be given to the Pakistan Army.

Talking about the background of this hospital, he said initially this project was designed to establish first Women Library of the megacity in the era of City Nazim (late) Niamatullah Khan. He said when later MQM came in power in Karachi, it changed the status of this project from library to hospital. He said; however, due to alleged pressure of some costly private hospitals operating in the vicinity, this project was deliberately kept on back burner and till now it is not operational despite the building of this hospital is ready.

Altaf Shakoor said previously the Sindh health department wanted to make an orthopedic center in this hospital and later it hinted at handing over this newly constructed hospital to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) for making it operational initially as a chest pain unit (CPU). However, all -this dillydallying is aimed at to linger on this project as a full-fledged 300-bed government hospital in this posh area would affect roaring business of some costly private hospitals.

He said though this case is an ideal case for the national corruption watchdog, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), but considering the virus emergency situation in the city, this hospital should be immediately handed over to the Pakistan Army to establish a coronavirus treatment center here on war footing. He urged Prime Minister, Chief of Army Staff, Sindh Governor, Sindh chief minister, and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chief to take up this matter in the larger national interest on emergency basis.

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