Disturbing flood in Covid cases powers Civil Hospital Karachi to close OPDs, cancel surgeries


Amid a growing number of Covid-19 cases mainly within the city, the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi on Monday halted all its key functions, shut outpatient departments (OPDs) and suspended surgeries till further orders, as a doctors’ body warned that the highly transmissible Delta variant accounted for nearly 100 per cent of the cases within the city.

The two developments came as a grim reminder of the fast-changing situation within the city where the infection rate had already crossed the 23pc mark during the last week.

The Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (Pima) has advised people to follow the defined guidelines and ensure implementation of the quality operating procedures (SOPs) in their lives warning that their defiance could lead to disastrous consequences.

“The fourth wave in Karachi has turned dangerously serious,” said Pima president Dr Abdullah Muttaqi during a statement. “The testing being conducted for suspected Covid-19 patients shows that nearly 100pc cases are of highly transmissible Delta variant. It spreads so fast and within no time infects the whole family of 1 infected person. The hospitals in Karachi have now been filled to their capacity.”

Call to urge vaccinated

Dr Muttaqi also mentioned members of his fraternity and their families who were falling prey to the fourth wave of the pandemic appealing to the people to require care of themselves and their loved ones and obtain vaccinated at the earliest.

“In such scenario, vaccine is one beacon of hope which everyone should get done at the earliest,” he said. “The hospitals can no more sustain the pressure and that’s why they need suspended their regular operations including surgeries and treatment of patients at OPDs. we’d like to understand that everybody has got to play his or her role while following SOPs, avoiding gathering and staying reception for the security of ourselves and our loved ones.”

On Monday evening the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) announced suspension of its key operations including OPDs and elective surgeries leaving thousands of normal patients during a quandary because the fate of their ongoing treatment at the most important public sector clinic within the province hangs within the balance.

“As per directives of ministry of health, and thanks to increased numbers of Covid-19 positive among our doctors, paramedical and nursing staff the subsequent OPDs and elective surgeries of surgical/orthopaedic are suspended with immediate effect till further orders,” said an indoor memo of the hospital which mentioned that eye, ear-nose-throat (ENT), surgical, orthopaedic, skin and dental OPDs would remain suspended.

Move to expand treatment facilities

Sources within the provincial health department said the Covid-19 units found out at various hospitals of the town were largely running full to their capacity which a gathering to be chaired by the chief minister on Tuesday (today) had been scheduled to seem into extending Covid-19 facilities for patients across the town .

“While some hospitals, like Alarming surge in Covid cases forces CHK to shut OPDs, cancel surgeries the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre with its recent addition of a 70-bedded unit, have already increased their capacity for Covid-19 patients, the govt plans to further extend these facilities,” said a health department official.

In this respect, he acknowledged , the health department had contacted the Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (Sessi) under the labour department to line up Covid-19 units at its three major healthcare facilities — the Kulsoom Bai Valika Hospital within the SITE area, Kidney Centre and Sessi Hospital, both located in Landhi.

“They are going to be operational soon. The Police Hospital under the house department also will have a Covid-19 unit,” he said.

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