OPD attendant at Karachi charity hospital dies of coronavirus

May 06, 2020

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Noman Ahmed, the deceased attendant. — Photo provided by author
Noman Ahmed, the deceased attendant. — Photo provided by author

An attendant at the outpatient department (OPD) of a charity-run hospital in Karachi died of the coronavirus on Wednesday, officials said.

Noman Ahmed, 32, worked as an attendant at Al-Khidmat Hospital in Orangi Town, run by Jamaat-i-Islami's charity wing.

After he was diagnosed with the virus, he was admitted to an isolation ward at the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi where he remained under treatment for 10 days. He was put on a ventilator but his health subsequently improved and he returned home after being discharged.

However, his condition deteriorated again a few days ago, resulting in his death, according to Dr Merajul Huda Siddiqi, a central leader of JI.

The deceased had gotten married about four months ago.

Siddiqi told Dawn that Ahmed probably contracted Covid-19 while attending to patients at the hospital.

His deaths comes a week after data shared by the National Emergency Operation Centre revealed that a total of 444 healthcare workers in the country had been infected with the coronavirus and eight had died. The number had increased by 75 per cent over the previous week, the data showed.

Doctors across the country have complained that the medical community was not being provided with personal protective equipment, making them vulnerable to the virus. They have also urged the government to impose a strict lockdown, saying that if not controlled, the healthcare system will not even have enough beds to accommodate all patients.

On Wednesday, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said that at least 90,000 healthcare workers worldwide are believed to have been infected with Covid-19, and possibly twice that, amid reports of continuing shortages of PPE.