PESHAWAR: The Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, has stopped attending to the people with general medical conditions to handle the growing number of coronavirus patients.
The development came after the health department formally asked the hospital, the largest government one in the provincial capital, to immediately halt elective services and refer non-Covid patients to Khyber Teaching Hospital for management.
The LRH was also told to increase the number of beds in intensive care and high dependency units and procure the medical equipment required to deal with the influx of coronavirus patients.
The hospital, which has a dedicated 300-bed Covid-19 Complex, where 202 patients are admitted, has also designated its new medical and surgical block for coronavirus patients.
The Provincial Doctors Association resented the move saying it can harm patient care at the Hayatabad Medical Complex and Khyber Teaching Hospital.
KP records 23 new deaths, 1,177 cases
According to PDA spokesman Dr Fazle Manan, instead of ordering the suspension of certain services, the health department should set up dedicated hospitals for coronavirus patients.
He said the new Covid-19 strain was infecting more and more people regarding of their ages and health, so there was an urgent need for having dedicated staff to manage coronavirus patients.
Dr Manan also called for the allocation of beds in hospitals for frontline heath workers in light of the severity of the third virus wave.
He expressed concern about the people’s failure to adhere to the standard operating procedure and asked the government to scale up awareness of precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded 23 more deaths from coronavirus on Saturday, while 1,177 residents were infected with the virus.
According to officials, an increase in bed occupancy has been reported in medical teaching institutions during the last 10 days.
They said on average, the province, which had 2.6 per cent case fatality rate, had recorded more than one dozen deaths from coronavirus daily for the last week prompting the authorities to upgrade in-patient services in Peshawar and other high-risk districts for the management of infected people.
The officials said Peshawar with 19.6 per cent case positivity rate for the virus was ranked sixth on the national list of 17 high-burdened Covid-hit districts and was home to 50 per cent of Covid-19 deaths and cases of the province.
They added that Swat district (16.6 per cent positivity rate) and Abbottabad district (10.6 per cent) had sixth and 11th positions respectively on the list.
The health officials told Dawn that the main recommendations of the National Command and Operation Centre was to ensure prevention of crowds in public places and adherence to social distancing, washing of hands and avoidance of handshakes by the people.
They said the hospitals were ready to manage Covid-10 cases.
Meanwhile, the district administration of Peshawar sealed shops and wedding halls and fined people for violating SOPs.
The district recorded 12 coronavirus-related deaths and 505 cases during the last 24 hours.
A news release said the administration arrested 22 shopkeepers, sealed 11 outlets and one wedding hall on Saturday and asked the people to comply with SOPs to prevent fine or other action.
Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2021