PHOTO: Reuters/File

Covid-19 claims another Abbottabad medic

Dr Hassan Shezad and his wife were suffering from the virus for the past few days

Zubair Ayub December 15, 2020

The novel coronavirus pandemic claimed another medic in the Hazara region on Monday as cases continue to soar.

Health officials said that Dr Hassan Shehzad, a professor of medicine, succumbed to the virus at the Ayub Medical Complex on Monday.

He was later buried in his native graveyard in Abbottabad.

Officials said that Dr Shehzad used to work at the complex. But after retiring, he had joined the Muzaffarabad Medical Complex across the valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

However, after he and his wife contracted the virus, they were shifted to the Ayub Medical Complex (AMC) for treatment where Dr Shehzad lost the battle.

Subsequently, the divisional health authorities said that Dr Shehzad’s death had pushed the toll from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the division to 196. They further warned about the rising number of virus cases, stating that so far, some 7,245 people have tested positive out of a total of 82,017 people who have been screened.

They added that test results for 4,333 cases are awaited.

Case influx

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise as part of the second wave, the government and health professionals said that they are gearing up to deal with the influx in cases.

Abbottabad Deputy Commissioner Mughees Sanaullah said that the provincial government has been focusing on equipping isolation centres so that it can cope with an exponential increase in the number of patients, as was seen during the first wave.

In this regard, he said that they have set up a 120-bed isolation centre in the Ayub Teaching Hospital and a 40-bed centre at the Abbottabad District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, apart from 20 beds in each private hospital of the city. This, Sanaullah said, was in addition to the 80-bed quarantine centre set up at the Kunj Sports Complex.

The deputy commissioner urged the public to exercise caution as the first step towards surviving the virus, such as wearing facemasks and keeping a distance from others. He added that because more and more people are following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the city, the situation has improved.

While comparing with the situation in the first wave, he said that hospitals had closed their outpatient departments (OPDs) earlier in the year. However, this time, the OPDs are open and patients are regularly visiting but have to strictly observe SOPs.

Sanaullah added that he had visited both, ATH and the DHQ to ensure that facilities are provided to patients, particularly oxygen.

Meanwhile, ATH Dean Professor Dr Umer Farooq said that at the moment, there are 10 patients in their intensive care unit (ICU) while there are a total of 55 Covid-19 patients admitted in the hospital's isolation ward.

He confirmed that since March, some 122 people have succumbed to the virus in ATH. He added that their staff has also suffered from the virus, with 166 doctors, trainees doctors, paramedics, nurses, orderlies and other staff infected. At least three staffers succumbed to the virus, including a doctor.

ATH Medical Director Dr Ahsan Aurangezeb said that they have been trying to provide special care to all Covid-19 patients.

Rising cases

A daily situation report issued by the divisional health authorities said that as many as 776 Covid-19 patients were referred to the Ayub Teaching Hospital (ATH) in Abbottabad of which 609 have recovered. The hospital currently has 73 active cases while some 122 patients succumbed to the virus since it began spreading in the area earlier in the year.

Similarly, 463 virus cases were referred to the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital in Mansehra where 361 patients have recovered. The hospital, however, still has 70 active cases while 32 patients lost their battle against the virus there.

In Haripur, the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) admitted 580 Covid-19 patients of which 503 have recovered and it has 52 active cases currently. At least 25 patients have suffered virus-associated deaths there.

In the Battagram DHQ, 69 Covid-19 patients were treated of which 55 have recovered while 14 patients died. At the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Abbottabad, 46 patients were treated for the virus of which 35 have recovered while 11 died.

Similarly, three patients died at the Rapid Response Team centre in Baffa area of Mansehra, two at the Rural Health Centre (RHC) in Thakote and one each at the Rapid Response Team Mansehra, DHO Haripur, RRT Team-II, Haripur. DHO Office in Batagram and the Type-D Hospital in Khanpur.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2020.


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