LAHORE: The government healthcare system in Lahore has exhausted from a year-long battle against the coronavirus as more than 100 Covid deaths took place in Punjab on the second consecutive day.

These included 46 in Lahore where five mega teaching hospitals have no space for critical patients. The situation has reached an alarming proportion for the patients suffering from infection’s complications in the provincial capital, particularly for those coming from lower middle class who are unable to get treatment from private hospitals.

According to Wednesday’s official update, 228 patients are fighting for life at the ventilators in the state-run hospitals of the provincial capital.

A total of 103 people died of the virus during the last 24 hours in Punjab, taking the death toll to 7,664.

Major health facilities in Lahore face unprecedented challenge

The data showed a disturbing situation according to which the occupancy ratio of ventilators at five major teaching hospitals of Lahore has reached 100 per cent. They are Jinnah Hospital, Services Hospital, Lahore General Hospital, Pakistan Institute of Kidney and Liver (PKLI), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, and Government Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital.

The medics have declared it a dangerous sign for the critical patients of the infection saying that with every passing day the hospitals are running short of beds because of alarmingly high death rate. They warn that the lives of hundreds of critical patients requiring treatment at the intensive care units of the government hospitals are at grave risk.

The bed occupancy at ICUs of the Mayo Hospital reached 92 per cent, Mian Nawaz Sharif Yakki Gate 90 per cent and it was recorded 85 per cent at Shahdara Teaching Hospital. The situation is worrying at the high dependency units (HDUs) of the hospitals. Lahore General Hospital is the only teaching institute where both the HDUs and the ICUs have no space for any Covid patient.

According to the official figures, the LGH reported 100 per cent bed occupancy at the HDU, the Mayo Hospital 76 per cent, Jinnah Hospital 68 per cent, Services Hospital 85 per cent, PKLI 84 per cent and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital reported 88 per cent bed occupancy at its HDU.

Overall, the 16 public-sector teaching hospitals showed 93.1pc ventilators use and 70.1 per cent HDUs have been occupied by the critical patients of the virus in Lahore.

The total number of the Covid infections in Punjab reached 276,535 after 2,969 more people tested positive for it during the last 24 hours. Of them, 1,454 were reported from Lahore alone where the total number of the positive cases reached 147,071.

Meanwhile, Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Secretary Ms Sarah Aslam visited Expo Centre where the Covid vaccination of 50-59 age group people started on Wednesday. She met vaccination teams and visited different counters where people were getting vaccination.

The health secretary said people must get themselves registered at 1166 for vaccination. Adequate stock of vaccine is available. People must visit designated centres with pin code and centre name, she said.

Ms Sara said the government had arranged special home vaccination service for people of above 70 years.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2021

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