Hospitals in Islamabad on verge of saturation

Published April 1, 2021
Pims, which is a tertiary care hospital and gets emergency patients from across the country, has started referring emergency patients out due to lack of beds. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File
Pims, which is a tertiary care hospital and gets emergency patients from across the country, has started referring emergency patients out due to lack of beds. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File

ISLAMABAD: While hospitals are on the verge of saturation, the Covid-19 situation in the federal capital is worsening with each passing day.

The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) has exhausted its capacity and patients even have to wait at the emergency centre to get a bed.

Pims, which is a tertiary care hospital and gets emergency patients from across the country, has started referring emergency patients out due to lack of beds.

Similarly, Polyclinic, which is one of the biggest hospitals of the capital, has not a single ventilator vacant. Its management feels that it cannot enhance the capacity for Covid-19 patients as around 7,000 patients visit different departments of the hospital daily.

Twin cities record 887 new cases with seven deaths

However, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has claimed that it is closely monitoring the situation and will arrange more beds and ventilators whenever required.

Islamabad has a total population of 2.3 million. The first Covid-19 lab case in the city was confirmed on Feb 26, 2020, and till date over 57,000 positive cases have been detected.

Pims Joint Executive Director Dr Minhajus Siraj told Dawn that there were 200 oxygenated beds allocated for Covid-19 patients of which 185 were in the main hospital and 15 in the Children Hospital.

“In the main hospital, all the 185 beds are occupied and patients are even waiting in the emergency department waiting for being shifted to in. We have been referring patients to the Isolation Hospital and Infectious Treatment Centre (IHITC) as we don’t have beds,” he said.

Dr Siraj said there were 21 ventilators of which 11 were vacant, as majority of the patients required oxygenated beds rather than vents.

Media Coordinator for Polyclinic Dr Abdul Jabbar Bhutto told Dawn that there were 23 oxygenated beds and four vents for the Covid-19 patients.

“A few days ago, we arranged 10 additional oxygenated beds after which its number reached 33. All ventilators are occupied but some of the oxygenated beds are vacant,” he said.

Dr Bhutto said over 4,000 people, healthcare workers and senior citizens were vaccinated in the hospital. He said since the start of the pandemic over 200 doctors, nurses and paramedics of the hospital were infected.

“Though we have been updating the data, according to estimates around 60 of them are still positive and in isolation. Despite this, we are vaccinating citizens and the vaccination centre will remain open on upcoming Sunday,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said the hospital used to get around 7,000 patients daily so it was not able to enhance the capacity for Covid-19 patients.

“There are 50 vents and 600 oxygenated beds at the IHITC, so patients can also go there,” he added.

A spokesperson for the ministry of NHS, Sajid Shah, said the government was monitoring the situation closely.

“Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has already visited hospitals of the federal capital to check the load of patients.”

Meanwhile, a decline was seen in the Covid-19 cases in the capital as 629 people tested positive on Wednesday.

Officials 856 cases were reported on March 29, 754 on March 30 and 629 on March 31.On March 29, the positivity rate was 15.97 per cent which decreased to 12.3 per cent on March 30.

Till March 30, 12,142 people in the age group of 30-39 contacted the virus, followed by 10,722 in the age group of 20-29, 8,952 in the age group of 40-49, 7,273 in the age group of 50-59, 5,409 in the age group of 0-9, 4,878 in the age group of 10-19, 4,672 in the age group of 60-69, 2,015 in the age group of 70-79 and 699 in the age group of 80 and above.

Likewise, 175 deaths were reported in the age group of 60-69, followed by 148 in 70-79, 89 in 50-59, 72 in 80-90, 48 in 40-49, 16 each in 30-39 and 90-99, two in 20-29 and one each in 0-9 and 10-19 till March 30.

Loi Bher has the highest number of active cases - 979 - followed by 437 in Bhara Kahu, 439 in I-8, 429 in Tarlai, 418 in G-10, 370 in G-11, 363 in G-9, 356 in F-11, 350 in Rawat, 335 in G-7, 316 in E-11, 266 in G-8, 259 in I-10, 254 in Khanna, 248 in G-13, 222 in Chak Shahzad, 193 in F-8, 185 in Sohan, 184 in F-6, 130 in Alipur, 128 in Koral, 123 in F-7, 117 in I-9, 108 in Kurri, 103 in G-5.

Likewise, 10 areas of capital have 52 to 98 active cases, five 26 to 43 cases, 12 have 20 to 10 cases while 24 areas have seven to one active cases.

Rawalpindi

Seven people died of Covid-19 in the district while 258 patients tested positive and 182 were discharged from hospitals after their recovery in the last 24 hours.

Waqar Ahmed, 33, a resident of Kallar Syedan, was brought to District Headquarters Hospital on March 30 where he died on Wednesday.

Haji Nasir, 65, a resident of Mohallah Imambarghah, died at the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) where he was admitted on March 30.

Mohammad Waseem, 39, a resident of Range Road, was admitted to the RIU on March 30 where he died on Wednesday.

Afsheen Bibi, 44, died at Pims where she was admitted on March 30. She was a resident of Angatpura.

Mohammad Sadeeq, 87, of Pindoda, also died at Pims where he was admitted on March 30.

Mohammad Younas, 86, of Harley Street died at RIU where he was brought on March 30 while Mohammad Anees, 65, was brought to RIU from Adiala Road three days ago where he passed away on Wednesday.Currently, there are 2,062 active patients in the district. As many as 214 patients are in hospitals and 1,848 home isolated. Moreover, 539 patients are waiting for the results of their Covid-19 serology.

Of the new patients, 32 are admitted in Holy Family Hospital, 44 in Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), 113 in RIU, 20 in Fauji Foundation Hospital and one patient in Hearts International Hospital and three patients at Begum Akhter Rukhsana Hospital.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2021

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