A large number of healthcare providers have become infected with Covid-19 in Karachi within the last few days, compelling some of the leading public and private hospitals to cancel surgeries and procedures.
“All the surgeries at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) Karachi and its satellite centres in Tando Muhammad Khan and Sukkur have been cancelled for a week after some surgeons, nurses and paramedics tested positive for the infectious disease,” said Dr Pervez Chaudhry, head of surgery at the NICVD, while talking to The News on Monday.
As many as 94 healthcare providers have died in the country, including 67 doctors, one medical student, two nurses and 24 paramedics, officials said, adding that around 9,666 healthcare providers had contracted the infectious disease.
He said surgeries had been postponed as a precautionary measure to protect surgeons and other healthcare staff as well as patients from any complication. He added that they had decided not to discharge any patient who had been operated upon for at least a week as a precautionary measure.
Another official of the NICVD said at least 15 of their staff members, including doctors, surgeons and other staff, had tested positive for the infectious disease, compelling them to postpone all surgeries and elective procedures. He said only emergency services were being offered at the cardiac-care facility at the moment.
“Our emergency services are available round the clock at the NICVD, where primary PCI or angioplasty in the emergency is being carried out on heart attack patients. All the elective procedures and surgeries have been put on hold due to the spread of Covid-19 among the staff,” an official of the health facility said.
On the other hand, several orthopedic surgeons and doctors as well as staff of the Civil Hospital Karachi also contracted the viral infection, forcing the administration to send the infected healthcare providers to their homes for self-isolation.
An official of the CHK confirmed to The News that 17 of their doctors, surgeons and other staff had tested positive for the disease. He added that due to spread of Covid-19 among healthcare providers, they too had been forced to reduce the number of surgeries and elective procedures at the health facility.
CHK officials claimed that in addition to 17 fresh cases at their hospital, 50 medical students of the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), had also been infected with the coronavirus after 300 students tested positive in the last couple of days.
Officials at other health facilities, including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH), also said that with the increase in Covid-19 cases in the city, their doctors and healthcare providers had started contracting the disease as they were constantly in touch with infected patients. The same was the situation at private health facilities in Karachi. where a growing number of healthcare providers, including doctors, paramedics and nurses, were getting infected with the coronavirus and were either being isolated at their homes or getting admitted to Covid-19 treatment wards of health facilities.