Representational Image PHOTO: REUTERS

Lahore public hospitals running out space for new patients

Only 643 ICU beds are available for Covid-19 treatment in city

​ Our Correspondent June 23, 2020
LAHORE: Following a massive influx of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) patients in recent weeks, public hospitals have started running out space for new patients, especially in intensive care units (ICUs), in the provincial metropolis, The Express Tribune learnt on Monday.

Hospital sources revealed that space allocated for Covid-19 patients has already been filled in the most populous city of the province. Except for a few big hospitals, like Mayo Hospital, Jinnah Hospital and Services Hospital, no ICU bed is available for new Covid-19 patients in smaller facilities. Big hospitals are also left with limited capacity and around 85% of ICU beds have been filled, while new patients are coming in critical condition, they highlighted.

They indicated that several private hospitals have already started turning away patients owing to non-availability of space and now the state-run hospitals have started facing capacity issues.

The federal government’s official Covid-19 application also shows statistics confirming the situation.

An official of the provincial health department disclosed that Lahore, a city of over 11 million, has 643 ICU beds available for Covid-19 patients, of which only 35 to 38 were left vacant for new patients. The number of patients is rising owing to the non-serious and casual attitude of citizens.

Right now, there are 34,282 Covid-19 patients reported, including 471 new cases in the past 24 hours. So far 556 citizens have lost their lives, of whom 11 died in the past 24 hours, he pointed out.

He said dozens of people are contacting the virus daily because of negligence. Experts believe the country will witness infections peak in late-July or mid-August. If the public does not change its attitude towards this highly contagious disease, the health system of the country may collapse, leaving hundreds or thousands of patients unattended, he warned.

Earlier, the government had imposed ‘smart’ lockdown in over 60 areas in the metropolis. Now the cabinet committee on coronavirus is considering imposition of strict restrictions in more areas, including Gulberg, Faisal Town, Garden Town, parts of Defence Housing Authority and several parts of the highly congested Walled City.

An official of the district administration said the government has also decided to ensure strict implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to rein in the fast-rising number of Covid-19 patients in the city.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has warned that citizens must follow the restriction of wearing facemasks to overcome the spread of coronavirus, adding that the government will strictly get it implemented.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2020.


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