PESHAWAR: Amid massive surge in Covid-19 active cases and rapid rise in deaths due to the infection, Provincial Doctors Association has strongly recommended complete lockdown and separate hospitals at divisional level for the infected people to contain spread of the virus and manage active patients effectively.
According to the daily situation reports of health department for Wednesday, the province recorded three new deaths, one each from Mardan, Charsadda and Swat taking the total number of people dying of the pandemic to 83.
With registration of 86 new cases, the total tally of Covid-19 patients in the province reached 1,453. During the corresponding period, 79 active patients were treated successfully and sent home, making the total number of healed patients 414 so far in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
PDA president Dr Amir Taj Khan told Dawn that the province recorded 83 deaths of the countrywide 209 with highest case fatality rate of 5.7 per cent as opposed to national 2.14 per cent.
He said that it required a complete lockdown to enable people to stay home and enforce social distancing otherwise the health system would collapse and all the health workers would end up infected with the virus that would leave the patients in lurch.
KP records three new deaths by virus, toll reaches 83
Dr Amir, a physician, said that they must enhance testing capacity to make the enemy visible as due to less testing they were fighting against an invisible enemy, which was unlikely to be defeated.
“More than 50 health workers, including 20 doctors, have tested positive for Covid-19 because of the arrival of all patients to hospitals. It would be most appropriate to have separate wards for suspected and active patients as well as quarantine centres away from the hospitals, not only to ensure their best management but to safeguard our people and health professionals from being infected,” said the PDA chief.
Early in the day, Provincial Minister for Finance and Health Taimur Khan Jhagra told a news conference that the province scaled up testing capacity to 1,500 tests per day up from only 40 since March 12.
He said that Peshawar had recorded 39 deaths due to coronavirus, Swat 11, Mardan six while three each deaths were recorded by Mansehra, Kohat, Abbottabad and Nowshera. He said two patients each from Kurram, Swabi, Dir Lower and Malakand while one each from Mohmand, Buner, Shangla, Dear Ismail Khan and Bannu had died of the ailment.
“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has successfully conducted pooled testing trials which will be used on large groups and for experimental sampling as the province’s death toll has increased and we need more testing for which efforts are afoot. We are on track to increase testing capacity to 2,000 tests per day by the first week of May,” said the minister.
A report by the sub-office of World Health Organisation, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that the province had so far conducted 10,837 Covid-19 tests.
It said that the dead people aged from 35 to 90 years and 65 (78 per cent) of them were men, four (5 per cent) had travel history abroad and 20 (24 per cent) had preaching record while 45 (54 per cent) died in intensive care units and died on average within two days after their hospitalisation.
The report said that 1,163 (80 per cent) people got infected through local transmission.
Our Correspondent from Chitral adds: The number of coronavirus patients rose to seven here on Thursday when two more persons, being held in quarantine centres after their arrival from down districts, tested positive for the virus.
Assistant Commissioner Abdul Wali Khan told Dawn that a 33-year-old resident of Balach village and 60-year-old resident of Shagram village in Upper Chitral were declared to be Covid-19 infected.
He said that all seven persons so far detected had come from down districts. Meanwhile, the inmates of a quarantine centre situated at Government Commerce College observed strike on Thursday to demand shifting to a new place as one of the Covid-19 patients had been living there for the last six days.
The said that 19 persons of the 53 inmates had stayed for 16 days in the quarantine centre but the district administration was not releasing them while seven persons from Garam Chashma area wanted to be shifted to the centres situated in their area.
Deputy Commissioner Naveed Ahmed told Dawn that as one of the inmates tested positive, so all the 53 persons in the centres needed to be tested.
Our correspondent from Karak adds: Two new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the district, raising the total number of infected people to five.
The two new patients belong to Sorati Kallay area in Takht-i-Nusrati tehsil.
Our correspondent from Charsadda adds: Another patient died of Covid-19 here on Thursday, increasing toll to three in the district while the number of positive cases reached 43.
The deceased, a resident of Station Korona, was reported positive on April 18. He was under-treatment at Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar. His funeral prayer was offered and he was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard under SOPs.
Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2020