BAHAWALPUR: Hundreds of patients have been awaiting surgeries in the four departments of the Bahawal Victoria Hospital (BVH) since April 10 when the Punjab government ordered suspension of the procedure due to surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Punjab health department through a letter suspended the elective surgeries in the eye, ENT, dermatology and dentistry departments and ordered closure of the OPDs in the teaching and specialised hospitals, including the BVH, to stop the spread of Covid-19. The private hospitals were allowed to carry out operations in all the departments.

Procedure suspended due to pandemic

Later, the provincial health department extended these restrictions through successive letters till April 20, May 10 and May 23. Delay in surgeries has created problems for a number of people who don’t afford the expenditure of the private health facilities.

Many patients visiting the BVH have demanded that the government allow the surgeries and open the OPDs.

BVH Medical Superintendent Dr Aslam Malik told Dawn that the government had banned surgeries which could be delayed to prevent the Covid-19 cases. He expressed hope that restrictions would be relaxed soon. He said emergency operations were being carried out in the operating theatres.

PROJECTS: Officials of the government departments have been asked to complete the ongoing projects in the Bahawalpur division by May 31.

The warning was issued by Divisional Commissioner Capt retired Muhammad Zafar Iqbal who chaired a meeting of the Divisional Developing Working Party here on Wednesday. He directed that the officials responsible for the slow pace of development work would be taken to task.

Officials said 141 uplift projects under the Community Development Program (CDP) had been completed in the division while another 275 projects worth Rs9,250 million were under execution.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Irfan Ali Kathia chaired a meeting of the District Coordination Committee and reviewed the progress of the development schemes being executed under the Social Action Programme (SAP) and other initiatives. MPAs Sahibzada Gazean Abbasi (PTI) and Dr Muhammad Afzal (PML-Q) were among other participants.

APC: Speakers at an All-Party Conference (APC) organised by the Jamaat-i-Islami, South Punjab, on Wednesday condemned Israel’s aggression and barbarism against the Palestine’s civil population.

The speakers included JI’s Syed Zeeshan Akhtar and representatives of other parties including the PTI and the PML-N. They urged the Muslim countries to take a firm stand against Israel and announced a massive rally tomorrow to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2021

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