PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lost 35 persons including a senior doctor to Covid-19 on Thursday as the third wave continued to kill doctors and other health workers faster than it did during the first two waves of the pandemic.
So far, 91 health workers including doctors, nurses and paramedics have died of Covid-19 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Meanwhile, the province’s death toll from the virus climbed to 2,796 and cases to 103,419 with 1,129 more infections detected during the last 24 hours, said a report prepared by health department.
According to it, 789 recoveries were registered in the province, making overall count of the recovered patients 87,320 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Active cases are now 13,303 in the province.
The provincial capital has been the hub of the virus since the onset of the pandemic early last year. Of the total confirmed fatalities, Peshawar accounted for 16 which made its total deaths 1,465. It detected virus in 485 more people making its tally of patients 41,477.
The report said that six persons passed away due to the virus in Swat, five in Mardan, two each in Bajaur, Abbottabad and Haripur and one each in Swabi and Buner. The infection has become widespread and no district is safe.
35 including senior doctor die in the province
The report said that 102 new patients were diagnosed with Covid-19 in Mardan, 98 in Charsadda, 83 in Swat, 45 in Mohmand, 27 in Swabi. Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi, Charsadda, Swat, Abbottabad and Kohat are reporting bulk of infections. The virus also continues to infect health workers.
Dr Mohammad Iqbal, 53, head of Type D Hospital Lund Khwar, Mardan, tested positive for coronavirus on March 24 and breathed his last in Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) on Thursday.
The ongoing third wave has been very dangerous for doctors and health professionals.
The first wave of the pandemic began towards the end of February last year and remained continued till October 2020 and the second wave from November 2020 to February 2021. During the two waves, about 80 healthcare providers had died of Covid-19 but third wave starting from March 2021 claimed lives of 11 more health workers within one month.
Prof Mohammad Javed of ENT department at Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar was the first doctor in the country who died of Covid-19 after which the infection spread among healthcare providers in hospitals.
So far, a total of 3,687 health workers including 2,612 men and 1,075 women have been infected by the virus, according to a report by World Health Organisation. It said they got infected in government hospitals. So far, 58 doctors had passed away of the virus in the province.
Senior physicians at medical teaching institutions involved in management of Covid-19 patients said that they were concerned about the speed with which the virus was infecting health workers during the current wave which was more virulent than the previous two waves.
To counter the challenge posed by Covid-19, there should be reward in HMC, Khyber Teaching Hospital and Lady Reading Hospital, Mardan Medical Complex, Ayub Medical Complex Abbottabad and Saidu Group of Hospitals Swat for doctors, nurses and paramedics, who worked in hard situation to serve the patients, they said.
They said that government rightly awarded professors for their leadership roles in prevention and management of coronavirus in Peshawar but there were others, who shouldn’t be ignored, especially MTI consultants, who were playing key role in Covid-19 management.
The physicians said that corona teams in hospitals should be awarded in recognition of their work. All consultants should be given financial benefits, they added.
Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2021