Allied ‘refuses’ to treat Covid patients over beds shortage

Published April 6, 2021
Allied Hospital Faisalabad. — Photo courtesy AHF facebook page/File
Allied Hospital Faisalabad. — Photo courtesy AHF facebook page/File

LAHORE: With no respite in the new Covid-19 cases, the south Punjab health secretary and four of his family members tested positive for the virus, besides 2,275 other people across the province, during the last 24 hours.

South Punjab Secretary Health Mohammad Ajmal Bhatti and his family members have quarantined themselves at home shortly after the Nishtar Hospital, Multan, lab reports confirmed they were Covid positive.

An official said the doctors have also suggested quarantine to all those who had been in contact with Mr Bhatti and his infected family members, especially the government employees working in the south Punjab health secretariat.When contacted, Mr Bhatti confirmed to Dawn that he and his family members had carried the infection.

Meanwhile, the doctors at the Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, have started refusing admission to critical Covid patients because of non-availability of beds.

South Punjab health secy, four family members test positive

As per sources, the Allied Hospital doctors refused admission to 13 critical Covid patients on Monday, suggesting them treatment at home. These patients had serious breathing issues and critically low saturation, they said.

In order to address the issue of lack of Covid treatment at Lahore’s government and private hospitals, the Punjab government has appointed ex-chief executive officer of the Mayo Hospital, Prof Dr Asad Aslam Khan, as consultant for supervision of the field hospitals and gave him control of overall measures being taken to curb the third wave of the pandemic in Punjab.

The government also established a central corona control room at the Mayo Hospital to facilitate the treatment of the patients requiring Covid beds at both public and private hospitals in the city.

According to officials, doctors and other staff have been deputed at the control room which shall be supervised by Prof Aslam and the Mayo Hospital chief executive officer (CEO).

“On the directions of Punjab Health Minister Prof Dr Yasmin Rashid, we have dedicated four landline phone numbers for the public to get information about the availability of Covid beds in both public and private hospitals in the city,” Prof Aslam said.

Of these numbers working round the clock, one was meant exclusively for the Rescue 1122 staff, while the three others were for the public, he added.

He said trained staff of the Rescue 1122 had also been deputed at the control room to take calls of the emergency service’s field staff shifting critical Covid patients to hospitals.

“The central control room has been provided all the necessary details of designated beds in the intensive care units (ICUs) and the high dependency units (HDUs) of both the public and private hospitals in Lahore”, Prof Aslam said.

He maintained that the control room data on the bed capacity would be updated daily on the basis of the number of patients being discharged or admitted to hospitals every day to keep the patients and their attendants informed about the situation.

About Monday’s bed occupancy position, he said out of total 1,499 beds designated for the Covid patients, 756 were vacant. Of these, 346 were in the HDUs and 65 in ICUs of the public and private hospitals, Prof Aslam added.

The Monday’s official Covid-19 data showed that as many as 1,362 more patients tested positive for the virus in Punjab during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 233,348 across the province.

As per the figures, only 15 Covid patients died during the same period in Punjab, pushing the the virus death toll to 5,587 in the province.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2021

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