More than 100 doctors battle coronavirus in Faisalabad

Published June 3, 2020
Doctors allege the district administration was responsible for such a state of affairs. — APP/File
Doctors allege the district administration was responsible for such a state of affairs. — APP/File

FAISALABAD: The scourge of Covid-19 is affecting the doctors and more than 100 of them in three government hospitals – Allied, DHQ and General Hospital Ghulam Muhammadabad – are suffering from the disease.

Doctors alleged the district administration was responsible for such a state of affairs. Corroborating their claim, they said new wards had been set up at the Allied and DHQ hospitals without precautionary measures although sufficient beds were available at the General Hospital Ghulam Muhammadabad. The General Hospital dedicated for the Covid-19 treatment has 250 beds and only 60 are being occupied.

Pakistan Medical Association Faisalabad chapter Secretary Dr Muhammad Irfan said a majority of the doctors were not provided the personal protective equipment and they contracted the virus. He said the doctors treating the coronavirus patients tried to keep themselves protected but failed. The spread would not be controlled without provision of PPE, he feared.

The doctors said treating the patients at the General Hospital was a good strategy which could help administration restrict the virus but allowing patients in three hospitals aggravated the situation.

Young Doctors Association Faisalabad Secretary Dr Adnan Shakir said a group of health professionals had a meeting with Faisalabad Medical University Vice Chancellor Dr Zafar Chaudhry and raised the issue that why wards had been set up at the Allied and the DHQ hospitals when sufficient beds were available at the General Hospital.

He said they had asked him categorically that the ill-conceived policy had proved disastrous for people. As many as 110 doctors of the three government hospitals were suffering from Covid-19, he said.

He said a question was also being discussed that why doctors of Faisalabad were more prone to the virus than those of other districts.

An official of the FMU said the authorities were perturbed due to the health of doctors and paramedics. He said wards had been set up in two hospitals for the treatment of the patients as more space was required to treat the patients.

FMU VC Dr Zafar Chaudhry said actually no patient had been shifted from the General Hospital which is a tehsil level facility without adequate arrangements for treatment of serious patients. He said this state of affairs was there even before serious virus patients were referred to the DHQ and Allied hospitals.

On March 16, he said, it was decided that the corona patients would be managed at the General Hospital so as to contain the disease. Six ventilators were shifted to that infirmary from the Allied Hospital.

He said during the last three weeks the number of serious patients rose exponentially and there was a danger that we might lose patients who could be saved if more HDU beds were available. He said the decision to manage increasing number of serious patients at the Allied and DHQ hospitals was not taken by the VC but it was the recommendation of Covid management team comprising heads of medical units of FMU.

He said it was not possible for one health facility to meet the requirements of such a high number of patients.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020

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