There are some reports which suggest that Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal and Chief Minister (CM) Sindh Syed Murad Ali had a heated debate during the National Coordination Committee (NCC). The NDMA chairman said to have schooled the CM for ‘doing politics’ in the name of coronavirus.
However, the NDMA immediately rejected the report from its official Twitter handle and maintained that the chairman has professional and respectful relations with CM Shah.
It's a fake news. No incident of exchange of words has taken place. Gen Afzal has very professional and respectful relations with Mr Murad Ali Shah#NDMA
— NDMA PAKISTAN (@ndmapk) April 14, 2020
Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab has also rejected the report. However, he admitted that the CM Shah spoke in front of everyone. Murtaza Wahab wrote in his tweet that “For the record, the kits received were of sub-standard quality, as is evident from the prescription note. Expert doctors refused these kits & the same were immediately returned. This was stated by CM Sindh in front of everyone & there was no reaction forget yelling by anyone.”
For the record, the kits received were of sub standard quality, as is evident from the prescription note. Expert doctors refused these kits & the same were immediately returned. This was stated by CM Sindh in front of everyone & there was no reaction forget yelling by anyone https://t.co/YwRdq7btMO
— Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui (@murtazawahab1) April 13, 2020
“Kits are of no use”
It is worth noting that Murtaza Wahab claimed on Sunday that the coronavirus testing kits that the province had received from the federal government were not just unfit for carrying out clinical examinations but also lacked pieces of the viral transport medium (VTM), which he said were essential for testing.
Taking to Twitter, Wahab posted that of the kits received by the provincial government, “17,000 [were]… without VTMs and swabs which are necessary for conducting the tests.”
For Ministers of Federal Govt. This is the quality of kits supplied to Sindh by you guys. U people should be ashamed for what you people have done and what u preach https://t.co/ibgDkSQbr5
— Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui (@murtazawahab1) April 12, 2020
Referring to a prescription note attached with the post, he tweeted, “Secondly, the quality of [the] kits is not fit for clinical examination[s].”
Lambasting the centre over the alleged negligence, Wahab said that 20,000 kits sent by the federal government “are of no use.” Addressing federal ministers and the government on Twitter, he posted, “This is the quality of the kits supplied to Sindh by you guys.”
“Same kits are being used at NIH”
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader and an aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Shahbaz Gill on Monday said that they found no issues with the testing kits returned by Sindh province after being declared faulty.
“The testing kits provided by the Centre have come under discussion for some time and Murtaza Wahab also commented on his Twitter account giving an impression that faulty kits were provided to them,” he said.
Gill said that the province returned the kits provided to them by Chinese companies. “However, we encountered no issues while using them at NIH,” he said and asked as to why it took two weeks for the provincial authorities to declare them faulty.
He said that they have planned to provide 50,000 more testing kits to the province and that time it would be handed over to them after going through testing process so that they should not return it as done twice in the past.
GVS spoke to sources in NDMA who spoke on the condition of anonymity and rejected such reports. “There was nothing like that. However, the chairman might have explained the matter to Mr Shah,” they added.