PESHAWAR: With Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recording more and more critical coronavirus cases, the health department has directed the public sector hospitals in five districts to increase their bedding capacity to handle the growing patient load during the current second wave of the virus.
Senior health officials told Dawn that the district hospitals would also have more human resources and equipment for the purpose.
They said the health department had established a control room and bed management committee to monitor the situation to ensure the provision of beds to the critically-ill coronavirus patients.
“The Rescue 1122 will transport patients to the hospitals, where beds are available,” an official said.
KP records four more virus deaths, 271 cases
He told Dawn that every MTI would allocate 50 more beds for Covid-19 patients by Monday.
The officials said the health department had told all hospitals in Abbottabad, Mansehra, Swat, Nowshera and Swabi districts to come up with 30 more beds for coronavirus patients before Dec 5, and share details of the equipment and human resources meant for the purpose.
They said the department was also in contact with district hospitals to enhance diagnostic services and ensure that coronavirus labs get uninterrupted supply of kits for the immediate testing.
The officials claimed that the situation was under control, so routine services in hospitals would continue.
They, however, said the non-coronavirus care could be suspended if things got out of control.
The officials said the Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar, which had 88 coronavirus patients at the moment, can add 200 more beds.
They, however, said a decision about the suspension of services in the hospital would be taken at a later stage.
The officials said the department had allocated 5,440 beds for Covid-19 cases throughout the province and 494 of them were occupied.
They said the province had a total of 250 ventilators and 38 of them were used by patients.
The officials said the province’s Covid-19 fatality rate was 2.9 per cent compared to the nationwide 2.03 per cent and it was conducting 5,000 tests daily on average.
They said the department had decided to use the Women and Children Hospital, Rajjar, Charsadda, as a Covid-19 facility, while the bedding capacity of the Institute of Hepatology, which was designated at Covid-19 hospital in June but wasn’t used, was being scaled up from 110 to 160.
The officials said the second wave of virus would be more lethal than the first one as the virus gained strength after mutation.
They said the onset of the winter season and the people’s failure to adopt precautionary measures were a source of worry.
The officials demanded strict enforcement of pandemic-related restrictions, including lockdown in the areas and communities recording a spike in coronavirus incidence.
Last night, health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra met heads of the medical teaching institutions (MTIs) and discussed with them the availability of beds and other facilities for Covid-19 patients.
The MTI heads will brief the minister about arrangements for Covid-19 cases tomorrow (Monday).
Meanwhile, a health department’s report said the province registered four deaths and 271 new cases on Saturday.
According to it, the province has so far recorded 1,359 coronavirus deaths and 46,878 cases, while more than 89 per cent (41,477) patients have recovered.
The department said the active Covid-19 cases in the province totalled 3,901.
Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2020