LAHORE: After a province-wide interruption for many hours, Punjab’s public sector hospitals on Tuesday received a sufficient stock of oxygen gas for critical Covid patients.

The supply of the life-saving oxygen gas had come to a halt when the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan on Monday [all of a sudden] took to the streets, blocked major roads and entry/exit points to protest the arrest of TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi.

The trucks carrying gas cylinders were stopped on the roads by the TLP’s charged activists, putting health of hundreds of patients at risk.

Meanwhile, the official update reported that the number of Covid deaths crossed the 7,000 mark in Punjab after 74 more patients died during the last 24 hours across the province.

Similarly, the total number of infections reached 252,796 when 2,337 more people tested positive for the virus during the same period in Punjab.

2,337 more contract Covid in Punjab

Out of the new positive cases, 1,247 were reported from Lahore alone.

Similarly, most of the new deaths were also recorded in Lahore and the Covid death toll reached 7,062 in Punjab so far.

“The situation was very alarming in Punjab till late on Monday when gas supply to the hospitals faced a suspension”, said ex-chief executive officer of the Mayo Hospital, Prof Dr Asad Aslam Khan.

Mr Khan, who is serving as consultant for supervision of the field hospitals during third wave of the virus in Punjab, said the required gas supply to hospitals was restored.

He said the Punjab government has provided 200 more ventilators to the public sector hospitals in major cities.

“Of them 100 were provided during the last two days,” he said adding that the number of ventilators in Punjab’s major government hospitals had increased to a ‘satisfactory’ level.

He said the Punjab government had sent a request to the Centre to meet the growing needs of the above-mentioned equipment.

Prof Asad Aslam said the beds capacity in high dependency units of the hospitals had also been increased.

The new beds and ventilators were provided to the Jinnah Hospital, Services, Lahore General Hospital and Mayo Hospital.

Similarly, he said, the beds capacity and new ventilators were also added to the state-run hospitals of Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021

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