As the Covid-19 curve in Sindh continues to get steeper, with the province seeing over 1,400 more cases and 19 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday, the provincial health department maintains there is no shortage of beds at healthcare facilities, both public and private, for infected individuals.
According to data released by the health department on the day, 2,466 beds in isolation centres 1,472 high-dependency unit (HDU) beds and 580 intensive care unit (ICU) beds with ventilators have been reserved for Covid-19 patients across the province.
Of the ICU beds, 452 are in Karachi. As per the health department, 51 patients were on ventilators in ICU beds and 204 were without ventilators in ICU beds in Sindh as of November 26, leaving 325 beds vacant. As many as 186 ICU beds were occupied by patients in Karachi.
Similarly, of 1,472 HDU beds, including 1,011 in Karachi, 421 were reported occupied on the day. Moreover, a majority of 398 among the occupied HDU beds were in Karachi. As per the health department, 1,051 HDU beds, including 613 in Karachi, were unoccupied.
While 16 ICU beds and 73 HDU beds were available for Covid-19 patients at Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, 20 HDU beds were available for infected individuals at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) - two of the largest public healthcare facilities in Karachi.
JPMC, though, had no vacant ICU beds for Covid-19 patients. Similarly, according to health department data, no beds were available in the ICUs at the Sindh Infectious Disease Hospital and Research Centre, the Clifton campus of Ziauddin Hospital, Indus Hospital, Liaquat National Hospital (LNH), Patel Hospital, Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), South City Hospital and National Medical Centre.
There were also no unoccupied beds for coronavirus patients at the HDUs of LNH and AKUH, according to the health department.
Meanwhile, 1,402 more cases of Covid-19 emerged in Sindh - the highest number so far in the second wave - and the infection claimed 19 more lives, said Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah. He said the province's Covid-19 death toll had now climbed to 2,885, and the virus to 168,738.
According to the CM, 749 recoveries were reported on the day, lifting the total number of patients beating the contagion to 148,313 in the province. As a result, he said, 17,585 Covid-19 patients are now under treatment.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2020.