Pink eye takes Punjab by storm

At least 13,000 new conjunctivitis cases confirmed on Thursday

Adnan Lodhi September 29, 2023


The Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department appears helpless to curb an alarming spread of eye infection in the province with more than 13,000 new cases reported on Thursday.

Almost 900 new patients of the eye infection were confirmed during the past 24 hours.

On the other hand, the number of patients who lost their vision because of an injection also increased despite a crackdown on its use. At least 10 new cases of vision loss were confirmed.

Hospitals across Punjab were facing a tough challenge of dealing with thousands of eye patients daily.

The health authorities confirmed 13,732 new cases of eye infection during the past 24 hours, including 887 patients brought to government and private hospitals in Lahore.

According to the monitoring staff of the primary and secondary Healthcare department, the eye disease has spread in almost all districts of Punjab.

“In all, about 368,000 patients of eye diseases have been confirmed in Punjab during the ongoing year, including 21,724 in Lahore,” said a spokesman for the department.

The highest number of patients has been recorded in Bahawalpur at 72,503, including 3,878 registered on Thursday.

Multan is also mong the worst affected districts with 14,493 patients registered since January, including 1,208 during the past 24 hours.

At least 1,721 new patients of the disease were confirmed in Faisalabad, raising the total number for the year to 27,583.

In Gujranwala, 219 new cases hiked the total number for the year to 14,581, the spokesman added.

A senior health official claimed while speaking to The Express Tribune that the department was suffering due to the poor performance of high ups in both the ministries of primary and secondary healthcare as well as specialised healthcare. He said the caretaker ministers concerned appeared focused on holding meetings while l thousands of patients were suffering and hospitals were burdened.

On the other hand, the number of patients confirmed to have suffered vision loss in Punjab rose to 78.

An official said 10 new patients had been admitted to the Mayo Hospital and they were being treated. Tests of the new patients were conducted.

Cases of loss of eyesight because of the injection have been confirmed in six districts, including Lahore, Kasur and Multan.

However, a spokesman, Syed Hamad Raza, insisted that the health authorities were doing their best to handle the situation and arrangements had been made in the government hospitals for the purpose.

He said maximum facilities for the patients were available at all district hospitals in the province, while the ministers were also making efforts to deal with the situation.

“In the past we controlled worst diseases like coronavirus and dengue, and our efforts to cope with the current situation are continuing,” the spokesperson added.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2023.


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