KARACHI: The city recorded the highest number of deaths in a single day in the ongoing coronavirus wave on Thursday when 20 patients lost their life, raising the death toll this month to 108, sources told Dawn.

They said most of the dead patients were over 60 years of age.

“Nine patients, all with comorbidities, died at our hospital overnight. Diabetes and hypertension were the most common comorbidities while a few patients had cardiac attack history,” said Dr Abdul Wahid Rajput, the medical superintendent of the Sindh Infectious Disease Hospital and Research Centre (SIDHRC).

One of the deceased was on dialysis, he added.

The number is highest in the ongoing wave

The hospital – the only tertiary care facility in the province that provides free-of-cost treatment to Covid-19 patients – has seen 49 deaths in till 27th of this month.

“Ninety per cent of these deaths were of old patients. A significant number of these patients belonged to the interior areas of Sindh, but had moved to Karachi a few decades ago,” Dr Rajput explained, adding that currently the hospital had a few patients in their 90s.

Asked about his experience with old patients and their families, he said condition of those patients at times reminded him of the 2015 heatwave when over 2,000 people had died in the city due to dehydration and heatstroke.

“Heat illness is preventable if diagnosed early enough. I was at a Korangi hospital at that time that received 48 dead on arrival cases and only two alive in the emergency section. This speaks volume about society’s attitudes towards their elderly.

“It’s time that our young people strictly follow Covid-related preventive measures, realising that it’s not they but their elderly family members who face the real danger from the coronavirus.”

According to a statement released by CM House on Thursday evening, Karachi reported 66 per cent (1,652) of the new daily infections (2,469) including 26 more cases of the Omicron variant.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2022

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