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Situation in KP worsening as corona claims 34 more lives

PESHAWAR: Situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is getting worse with each passing day, with hospitals being flooded with coronavirus patients as the fast-spreading virus on Thursday claimed 34 more lives in the province.

In Mardan, the angry attendants of corona patients blocked the main busy Mardan-Peshawar road for traffic to lodge their protest against shortage of oxygen to their critical patients in the Mardan Medical Complex (MMC) and accused the hospital administration of mismanagement in dealing with the Covid patients.

Health experts feared more rise in Covid patients in the coming days if the government did not take strict decisions of discouraging gatherings in weddings and funerals as well as ensuring lockdown in the markets and other public places.

The situation is particularly discouraging in the rural areas where the virus has spread to villages and the health facilities are inadequate to handle patients’ burden.

Most of the people in rural areas prefer local health practitioners, most of them untrained and quacks, for seeking treatment and when condition of the patients get deteriorated, they are taken to nearby hospitals.

“Almost every second patient brought to us in the MMC requires oxygen. We do whatever we can in our domain but the number of patients is rising day by day and we may not be able to cope with the burden in the coming days,” a senior faculty member in the MMC told The News.

Medical Director MMC Prof Mukhtiar Ali, when reached, said that unfortunately someone had spread rumours that there could be a crisis of shortage of oxygen in the country due to unprecedented rise in corona patients in the coming days and that sent alarms bells ringing among the patients and their attendants.

He said they had increased their oxygen capacity owing to rise in Covid cases but the panicked attendants gathered and stormed a vehicle when it supplied the oxygen gas cylinders and entered the hospital premises.

He said the protesters complained that the hospital administration was providing the oxygen gas to their relatives admitted in the hospital.

“Each and every patient admitted with us is dear to me like a relative. Unfortunately, the contractor supplying us oxygen gas was facing problems in getting a limited number of cylinders from Lahore due to rise in demands across the country,” explained Prof Mukhtiar Ali.

Besides raising the issue of oxygen, the protesters complained that senior doctors were not regularly paying ward rounds and left patients at the mercy of junior doctors and nursing staff. They alleged that most of the patients were losing their lives due to lack of proper care in the hospital.

Mardan lost 13 people from coronavirus on Thursday, which was the highest death toll in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to officials of the provincial health department, the number of Covid patients died in rural areas goes unnoticed.

Meanwhile, with the loss of 34 more lives, the death toll in KP has risen to 2553.

Of them, 13 patients died in Mardan, 11 in Peshawar, 5 in Swat, 2 in Kohat, and one each in Swabi and Mansehra.

Also, KP recorded 1248 more positive cases, bringing the total number of positive cases to 96128.

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