Hospitals told to keep ventilators available

Covid spread puts authorities on toes

ADNAN LODHI August 14, 2021

In view of the worsening Covid-19 situation, the Punjab health department has started reviewing the facilities available for the patients in the province.

The department is reportedly focusing on ensuring the availability of ventilators in all government hospitals. According to a spokesman for Punjab Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department, there are 697 ventilators in hospitals of the province.

Among these 697 ventilators, 185 are in use, while 512 are available for coronavirus patients.

The department is striving to ensure adequate facilities in the hospitals in the province after a speedy increase in the number of coronavirus patients during the past two weeks in Punjab.

The death toll has also increased, while the resources in the hospitals are stretched due to the increasing Covid patients.

"The health department is geared up to deal with the situation in the near future with respect to the pandemic. We have acquired all advanced facilities required for coronavirus patients," Punjab Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Secretary Amir Jaan told The Express Tribune.

Shortage of ventilators in the hospitals was the top problem faced in the province during the three earlier waves of novel coronavirus. Protests also took place as a result of unavailability of ventilators in hospitals.

However, now the provincial government has set for itself the top priority of ensuring availability of ventilators for the patients requiring them. All hospitals in the province have been alerted for the purpose.

"There are 6,592 beds allocated for coronavirus patients at the hospitals of Punjab, of which 3,549 are vacant. In Lahore, as many as 1,001 of the 1,332 beds are available for new patients," the provincial secretary said.

There are 2,965 beds in the isolation wards of the government hospitals and among them 2,586 are still available for the patients.

Read Covid vaccination certificate must for air travel after Sept 10: NCOC

"In Lahore, where the ratio of the patients is high, the healthcare department has allocated 358 beds in the isolation wards and 305 of them are vacant. We have set aside 2,930 beds at the High Dependency Units (HDU) in the hospitals in the 36 districts. Of those, 2,251 beds are still available for patients, including 550 out of 745 in Lahore. We have enough ventilators in the government hospitals as only 185 of the 697 are being used by patients, while 512 are free, including 146 of the 229 ventilators are free and 83 are in use," the official added.

"Our aim is the availability of the best arrangements in hospitals. We have enough ventilators and are struggling against the fourth wave of coronavirus.

"Our focus besides this is speedy vaccination, while we will also continue to implement smart lockdown in localities with an increasing percentage of patients," said Sayed Hamad Raza, spokesman for the provincial health department.

Meanwhile, the death toll, as well as the number of patients, are steadily increasing in Punjab.

"In last 24 hours, 1163 new coronavirus positive patients were confirmed in Punjab, while 15 deaths caused by the disease were reported, including 4 deaths in Lahore. There currently are 20,002 active cases of coronavirus in Punjab," the spokesman confirmed.

He said the pandemic had so far claimed 11, 305 deaths in Punjab. The positive corona ratio overall in Punjab is 6.1 while the ratio of the positive case at Lahore is 8.2. 338,051 patients of corona were recovered in Punjab while total of 369,358 people suffered from corona positive in Punjab. There are enough facilities of Corona at hospitals and most beds at the isolation wards are empty, said Spokesperson of Primary and Secondary Health Care Department Punjab".

Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2021.


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