Over 8,500 isolation beds to be converted into high-dependency units

Updated 05 Jul 2020

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At present, the Sindh government has 503 ICU beds with ventilators and 1,810 HDU beds. — Dawn/File
At present, the Sindh government has 503 ICU beds with ventilators and 1,810 HDU beds. — Dawn/File

KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday decided to convert 8,672 isolation beds into high-dependency unit (HDU) beds and to purchase more ventilators, more HDU beds with low- and high-oxygen arrangements.

He said this while presiding over a meeting of a task force on Covid-19 here at CM House.

At present, the Sindh government has 503 ICU beds with ventilators and 1,810 HDU beds.

The chief minister said that his government had tested 300,247 samples from June 1 to July 3 against which 62,476 cases of coronavirus were detected.

Murad says the Covid-19 patients’ recovery rate of Sindh is higher than other provinces

He said during the corresponding period, Punjab conducted 286,049 tests and detected 54,057 cases; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 93,377 tests and detected 17,479 cases; Islamabad 90,557 tests and detected 10,703; Gilgit-Baltistan 5,100 tests and detected 825 cases; Balochistan 26,008 tests and detected 6,324 cases and Azad Kashmir 10,351 tests and detected 959 cases.

‘Sindh has lower death rate’

“This shows the Sindh government compared to other province has performed better,” he said.

He added that during June 1 to July 3, some 28 deaths were reported in Kashmir, 75 in Balochistan, 17 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 102 in Islamabad, 529 in KP, 1,347 in Punjab and 987 in Sindh.

“This is clear that our death rate is lower in term of patients and population,” he said.

He said that the recovery rate in Sindh was better than other provinces as during the same period 518 patients recovered in Kashmir, 3,824 in Balochistan, 689 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 8,441 in Islamabad, 12,608 in KP, 35,833 in Punjab and 37,098 in Sindh.

“Our fatality rate has been recorded at 1.57 per cent, while Punjab has 2.49pc, KP 3.03pc, Gilgit-Baltistan 2.06pc, Balochistan 1.19pc and AJK 2.2pc. If fatality rate is compared keeping in view the number of patients and population of the province, Sindh has the lowest rate because of a better healthcare system,” he claimed.

Talking about challenges, Mr Shah said that under the current situation, it was impossible to predict how many cases were actually there in a defined geographical area. “Majority of cases are asymptomatic [more than 80pc],” he said.

“We could not screen every individual. Therefore, we adopted a policy of targeted screening,” he added.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, chief secretary, home secretary, Rangers director general, Sindh police chief, representative of Corps V and others.

42 more die in Sindh

Earlier, sharing the daily coronavirus situation report, the chief minister said that 42 more patients died lifting the death toll to 1,501 while 1,585 new cases emerged when 10,718 samples were tested raising the tally to 92,306.

Mr Shah said that at present 38,417 patients were under treatment, of them 36,515 in home isolation, 299 at isolation centres and 1,603 in different hospitals.

He added that at present 733 patients were in critical condition, of them 98 were on ventilators.

The CM said that 1,480 more patients recovered overnight and now the number of patients recovered so far had reached 52,388 that constituted 57pc recovery rate.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2020