BAHAWALPUR: The Bahawal Victoria Hospital (BVH) on Monday ran short of the coronavirus test kits, Viral Transport Medium(VTMs), creating problems for the medical

staff as well as those visiting for such tests amid recent surge in COvid-19 cases, especially in south Punjab.

The BVH, the main health facility in the district, is being daily visited by a large number of patients, most of them in emergency, for the coronavirus tests, also from other district, including Lodhran and parts of Liquatpur, Khanpur and Hasilpur tehsils.

The BVH’s emergency ward gets VTMs supply from the district health office, which as per sources, declined the hospital’s request to provide the kits saying that it awaited the same to be supplied from Islamabad.

BVH Emergency Ward Director Dr Aamir Bokhari confirmed to Dawn that the hospital was short of Covid -19 test kits. According to him, some 50-100 indoor and outdoor patients, health workers etc daily visited the ward for the coronavirus tests.

DHA CEO claims supply awaited from Islamabad

In April, he said, as many as 1,749 patients sought testing facility from the BVH emergency ward.

He said the office of chief executive officer (CEO) of the district health authority (DHA), on Monday informed the hospital that the DHA was short of kits, which were expected to be received by it within two days.

He said the shortage of Covid-19 test kits was a big issue for the hospital that needed to conduct such tests frequently as the pandemic was on the rise in many districts of south Punjab.

He opined that the DHA office should have a plenty of kits in its reserved stock to meet any emergent situation at the BVH. Dr Bokhari said the DHA should arrange kits within the shortest possible time so that the actual magnitude of the disease could be assessed and the patients could get necessary trewatment.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 claimed two more lives, while 30 patients tested positive for Covid-19 during the past 24 hours in the district.

DHA’s focal person Dr Zakir Hussain could not be accessed on his cell phone for his stance.

SUSPENDED: The deputy commissioner, who is also administrator of the district health authority (DHA), suspended two officials of the health department from service and ordered an inquiry into the complaint of delivery of Covid-19 vaccine without strict SOPs to a vaccination centre.

DC Irfan Kathia took action against the officials following a video clip showing the vaccine delivery to a local vaccination centre without proper precautionary measures went viral on social media. In the video clip a health worker could be seen carrying the vaccine packs on a motorcycle without any ice box to ensure its effectivity.

According to an official handout, the DC took notice of the incident and suspended the vaccination superintendent and the store keeper, ordering an inquiry into it.

The DC said in the handout that it was necessary to transport the Covid-19 vaccine from one place to another under strict SOPs and medical protocols, ensuring that its temperature was maintained as per directions.

He said a three-member committee had been constituted to probe into the matter and submit a report at the earliest.

The DC warned that any negligence in the discharge of official duties could not be tolerated and the officials held responsible would be strictly dealt with.

However, the handout also includes that according to preliminary reports the vaccine packs were hastily shifted from the gate of the vaccination centre set up at the Government Tibbia College to a store inside the building to cater to the rush of people and that the shifting took just less than a minute.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2021

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