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No ICU bed available for Covid-19 patients at nine leading public and private hospitals

The novel coronavirus positivity rate in Karachi reached 18.4 per cent during the last 24 hours, and nine leading public, private and charity hospitals reported on Thursday they had no bed vacant in their intensive care units (ICUs) reserved for critically sick Covid-19 patients.

Official data available to The News revealed that nine leading hospitals — Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Aga Khan University Hospital, Infectious Diseases Hospital NIPA, Liaquat National Hospital (LNH), Patel Hospital, Indus Hospital, Ziauddin Hospital’s Clifton Branch, National Medical Centre (NMC) and South City Hospital — had no bed available in the ICUs reserved for Covid-19 patients.

The daily hospital beds’ situation compiled by the Sindh health department on Thursday afternoon showed that these hospitals had altogether 137 ICUs beds, both with ventilators and without ventilators, but none of them had any bed available due to the growing number of severely sick patients of the coronavirus.

But the official data of a total of 31 hospitals shows there are 452 ICU beds available at those hospitals in Karachi, of which 215 beds are vacant. But, interestingly, most of the vacant ICU beds are in hospitals which have not started taking patients yet or which people are not even aware of.

According to health experts, only severely sick patients or those in critical condition are being taken to tertiary-care health facilities in the second wave as those having minor breathing problems or mild to moderate symptoms are being treated at homes under the supervision of health experts who are either available on the phone or personally visiting patients at their homes.

Besides the ICU beds, around 1,011 high dependency unit (HDU) beds are also available at these 31 health facilities, of which 613 are vacant, according to the data. Around 1,534 isolation beds, including 1,200 at the Expo Center facility, are also available, of which 1,448 are still lying vacant.

Positivity rate

The positivity rate of Covid-19 surpassed 18.4 per cent in Karachi during the last 24 hours when 1,252 people tested positive when 6,780 samples were tested at 10 laboratories, officials said.

They said the highest number of samples were tested by the Indus Hospital lab, where 1,975 samples were analysed, of which 334 tested positive, followed by 1,057 samples tested at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) lab where 174 people were diagnosed with the disease.

The Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Ojha campus conducted 615 tests, of which 228 were positive, while 666 samples were tested by the Chughtai lab, of which 145 were positive cases. The lowest number of tests was conducted at Tabba Heart Institute, where three people tested positive when 79 samples were analysed.

The data revealed that despite having testing facilities, 11 hospitals and testing laboratories — Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Hashmani’s Hospital, National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD), Cancre Foundation Hospital, Al-Khidmat Diagnostic Services, Bahria Lab,

Children Hospital Karachi, Advanced Lab, PNS Shifa, Karachi University and One Health – had not performed even a single test between the mornings of November 25 and 26.

19 more die

Covid-19 claimed 19 more lives in Sindh during the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 2,885, while 1,402 more people tested positive when 10,585 samples were tested overnight in the province.

There were 774 patients undergoing treatment at various health facilities in the province, and the condition of 684 of them was stated to be serious, while 50 were on ventilators, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said in his daily Covid-19 situation report on Thursday.

So far 1,940,557 tests have been conducted, against which 168,783 cases have been identified. Of them, 88 per cent or 148,313 patients have recovered, including 749 overnight.

Currently, there are 17,585 active cases of Covid-19 in the province, of which 16,798 are in home isolation, 13 at isolation centres and 774 in different hospitals.

The condition of 684 patients was stated to be critical, including 50 shifted onto ventilators. Of the 1,402 new cases, 1,148 were detected in Karachi, including 422 in District East, 362 in District South, 156 in District Central, 94 in District West, 61 in District Korangi and 53 in District Malir.

Hyderabad reported 63 cases, Dadu and Tando Allahyar 21 each, Sujawal 18, Shaheed Benazirabad 16, Jamshoro 13, Sanghar 11, Badin 10, Ghotki, Larkana, Naushehroferoze and Sukkur three each, Thatta, Umerkot and Kashmore two each, Khairpur and Matiari one each.

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