Hospitals are day by day running out of space with increasing Covid-19, Lahore and Karachi
Hospitals in Lahore and Karachi are day by day running out of space with increasing cases of Covid-19. Though the government officials condemn this and claim that the situation is under control whereas the health authorities condemn the former’s claim because Pakistan’s weak health system is now not able to sustain the drastic rise in Covid-19 patients. Numbers here have already surpassed China’s, where the virus took birth.
Karachi and Lahore, the two most heavily populous cities of the country, are already struggling with a rapid rise in Covid-19 patients in recent weeks. Unfortunately, some of the major private hospitals are turning away their patients because of a shortage of beds and other necessary equipment.
In the home to more than 15 million people, Karachi is one of the worst-hit cities in the country, 15 government, private and charitable hospitals are dealing with coronavirus patients. In those hospitals, there are a total of 136 ventilators.
On the other hand, in Lahore there are 539 beds and 200 ventilators available as witnessed by Yasmeen Rashid, Punjab’s Health Minister.
Punjab and Sindh have slightly more than 14,000 beds for coronavirus patients at state-run and private hospitals. Although according to the real-time data there 71,000 cases collectively in both the province.
Dr Muhammad Shamvil Ashraf, an official of the Indus Hospital in Karachi, confirmed his facility was already running at “peak capacity”.
On the other hand, the government has recently launched a mobile application that provides information about the availability of ventilators in hospitals and the government is increasing the number of beds and ventilators in state-run hospitals following a possible spike in Covid-19 cases.
Aslam, who is also the head of state-run Mayo Hospital Lahore, told: “We have reserved 200 ventilators for critical patients in Lahore alone and will add 100 more by June 30, At present, we are not facing any disturbing situation vis-a-vis availability of beds or ventilators for the patients”.
However, there is also seen an ambiguity in numbers where the Sindh government is seen to be held responsible .”The government is fabricating the numbers. Yesterday, a senior anesthetist at Services Hospital, Lahore died as he could not get a ventilator,” he said.
Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, who effectively acts as health minister, could not be reached despite repeated attempts. “Hospitals have no more capacity to admit Covid-19 patients. The only option left is to treat them in their homes with the help of mobile health units,” he said.