By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Amidst concerns that intensive care and high dependency units at hospitals, designated for coronavirus infected patients, particularly at Karachi, were under immense pressure due to shortage of trained staff, life supporting machines and beds, the health authorities on May 28 confirmed detection of another 1,103 COVID-19 positive cases, an all days’ highest figure since February 26 when the province reported prevalence of the disease.
According to the health department summary, having resumed after a gap of four days, Sindh’s COVID-19 cases surpassed 25,000 at 9 am on May 28 while the provincial tally of relevant deaths was inching towards 400. Last time, the maximum number of new infections was reported in Sindh on May 9, with 1,080 cases.
The experts, during official meetings and interaction with media, largely appeared fearful due to the given upward trend of the coronavirus disease and the related deaths, stressing need for more and more increases in the healthcare provisions both in terms of quality and quality in the available health settings.
They highlighted the role of intensive care (IC) or therapy units and high dependency units (HDU), saying ICU treats patients, whose lives are at risk mostly due to failure of lung or failure of kidney or heart and blood vessel.
“Treatments include a ventilator taking over the patient’s breathing while the patient is anaesthetised, a dialysis machine cleaning the blood and drugs or machines supporting the heart and blood pressure,” they added, saying one in five patients in hospital may need ICU care.
A source in the government said that a daily statement of ICU, HDU and isolation beds was seriously taken up during a high level meeting on May 27.
The report pertained to 22 government designated healthcare facilities belonging to both the public and private sectors has obviously prompted the people at the helm of coronavirus affairs to address any anticipated untoward, particularly in the wake of recent doubling of the COVID-19 positivity rates in the province.
According to the country wise data, updated on May 27, there were 2,377 ventilators at various hospitals in 13 major cities of Pakistan, out of which 708 were reserved for COVID-19 patients and only 128 were occupied.
In the meantime, as per the Sindh health department’s daily COVID-19 summary, 16 more deaths of coronavirus infected patients occurred in the province during the last 24 hours ending at 9 am on May 28, taking the provincial tally of deaths to 396.
At Karachi, 12 patients including four females of age between 45 to 66 years, died. The eight male patients who lost their lives due to the lethal virus aged from 49 to 80 years. Hyderabad, Ghotki, Naushero Feroze and Shikarpur reported one death each, involving one female and three males in the age brackets of 62 and 72 years.
As per recent practice. however, the health authorities did not reveal the names of hospitals or homes and medical history of the deceased patients.
As many as 871 new cases were reported from Karachi division, followed by districts including Hyderabad (32), Kambar Shadadkot (32), Shikarpur (25), Larkana (20), Sukkur (19), Ghotki (18), Naushero Feroze (17), Khairpur (14), Jacobabad (11), Mirpurkhas (10), Thatta (10), Jamshoro (7), Sanghar (4), Tando Mohammad Khan (4), Kashmore (3), Dadu (2) and Shaheed Benazirabad (1).
With the latest detection of positive cases, Sindh’s tally reached 25,309, while 1,924 patients, an all days highest, recovered from the diseases during the 24 hours, taking the number of cured COVID-19 patients to 11,190.
On the other hand, Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, along with Sindh Minister for information, Syed Nasir Shah, and Sindh Health Secretary, Zahid Ababsi, visited an under construction 400-bed hospital building at old NIPA roundabout in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on May 28.
The building, according to the chief minister, would be made functional as the COVID-19 Infectious Diseases Hospital, under the supervision of Dow University of Health Sciences in one month time.