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Wards being vacated to accommodate corona patients

PESHAWAR: An alarming rise in coronavirus cases and fatalities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have prompted the authorities to squeeze other services in the public sector hospitals to accommodate patients of the viral infection.

The government and health experts had already warned the public of the repercussions of the 4th wave and urged people to get themselves vaccinated against the fatal disease.

The viral infection in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday claimed 18 more lives, which is the highest human loss since the outbreak of the 4rth wave. Besides the rise in fatalities, a sharp increase was also noted in the number of positive cases as 476 people were diagnosed with coronavirus.

Rizwan Khan, a spokesman for the health minister, however, stated that the good development they had noticed was the high number of recovery from the disease, apparently due to vaccination.

As per an official report of the provincial health department, 654 patients recovered from the coronavirus on Tuesday.

Overall 2439441 patients had recovered from the disease since its outbreak.

Currently, there are 6,164 active positive cases in KP, while the province has overall recorded 149,532 positive cases since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020.

Since most of the people don’t prefer Covid-19 investigations due to social taboos, most of the deaths caused by the coronavirus go unchecked and not registered.

As per official data, KP has lost 4588 people in the corona pandemic. The situation is, however, deteriorating with each passing day and pressure is building up on health facilities, particularly on the tertiary care hospitals.

The administration of Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) again had to shut some of their wards with rise in corona patients.

Prof Shehzad Akbar, Medical Director HMC, told The News that they recorded a two-fold increase in the number of corona patients in the last two months, particularly since the middle of July.

“In April-May, HMC used to have 20-30 corona patients which has now risen to 100. And the number is rising with each passing day as critical patients are usually being referred to us from the peripheries,” he explained.

Prof Shehzad and his team had learnt a good lesson from the oxygen gas scandal in Khyber Teaching Hospital KTH) and raised their oxygen gas capacity from 5000 cubic meters to 23000 cubic meters. The KTH incident had embarrassed the provincial government as well as the hospital as six corona patients had lost their lives due to lack of timely supply of the oxygen gas to them.

Prof Shehzad Akbar said they had dedicated 30 beds for covid patients, out of 50, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). They increased their ICU bed capacity after 20 beds in the coronary care unit (CCU) were also added to ICU and a new state-of-the-art 20 beds CCU was established.

Like HMC, patient flow has increased in the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH0.

According to Mohammad Asim, media manager LRH, they had 170 admitted 170 covid patients presently, saying the number was rapidly increasing.

“Only a few weeks ago, we used to have 20-25 corona patients, which has now risen to 170,” he said.

He said they had already merged some of the wards in the old cardiology block and dedicated them to corona patients. Asim said all the 170 patients brought to them were critical and oxygen dependent.

“We take critical patients mostly and they need extra-care and can’t survive without oxygen. We had dedicated 400 beds to the corona patients and our health experts had successfully handled the previous waves,” the LRH media manager explained.

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