Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday unveiled the country’s first locally developed ventilator to help frontline medical professionals treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients.
Khan inaugurated the production facility of the first-ever indigenously developed ventilators in Pakistan at Haripur. Minister for Science & Technology Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, PM’s Focal Person for COVID-19 Dr Faisal Sultan, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. Gen Muhammad Afzal and other senior officials also attended the launch ceremony.
The ventilators called “Safe Vent SP100” have been designed by National Radio & Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) — Pakistan’s high tech industry engaged in manufacturing of telecommunication equipment.
NRTC has produced 15 units of Safe Vent SP 100 and has a production capacity to manufacture 250–300 units per month. “Safe Vent SP 100 is FDA/CE approved economical and reliable ventilator” according to the official statement.
“It’s a landmark achievement for Pakistan,” the premier said, congratulating the team behind the project, the engineers and scientists at NRTC and the Ministry of Science & Technology. The country has “abundant talent to take us to self-reliance in new technological innovation,” Khan said, adding that the government will “strongly support any initiative to harness the potential of our youth.”
Managing Director of NRTC Brig. Tofique Ahmed offered a detailed briefing to the prime minister about the research and development projects and achievements of the organization. “NRTC is indigenously providing services including communication equipment, e-policing, electro-medical equipment, hardware & software” he said.
Federal Minister for Science & Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, termed it “a landmark achievement” as he announced on Twitter that “the first batch of Made-in-Pakistan ventilators Safe Venthas been handed over to NDMA by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.”
In a video message, Minister for Science said that the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) received a total of 57 designs for the ventilators in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic of which “four were approved.” NRTC has now become the country’s first organisation to indigenously develop portable ventilators but the process is also continuing at three more facilities including two private, Fawad Chaudhry said. The production of ventilators has further paved the way for local manufacturing of medical apparatus in Pakistan and save the country billions in coming years as “Pakistan imports medical equipment worth $2.1 billion every year while another $1 billion is spent on service agreement alone.”
Pakistan’s approved list of ventilators:
1. Safe Vent SP-100 by NRTC (approved and in production)
2. N-Saviour by NUST (under trial)
3. PAKVENT-1 by NESCOM (under trial)
4. Corvent by POF and PIEAS (under trial)