No beds, medicines running low and hospital wards susceptible to fire Iraq’s doctors say they’re losing the battle against the coronavirus. and that they say that was true even before a devastating blaze killed many people during a Covid-19 isolation unit in the week.
Infections in Iraq have surged to record highs during a third wave spurred by the more aggressive delta variant, and long-neglected hospitals suffering the consequences of decades of war are overwhelmed with severely ill patients, many of them this point children.
Doctors are logging on to plea for donations of drugs and bottled oxygen, and relatives are taking to social media to seek out hospital beds for his or her stricken loved ones.
“Every morning, it’s an equivalent chaos repeated, wards overwhelmed with patients,” said Sarmed Ahmed, a doctor at Baghdad’s Al-Kindi Hospital.
Widespread distrust of Iraq’s crumbling health care system only intensified after Monday’s blaze at the Al-Hussein Teaching Hospital within the southern city of Nasiriyah, the country’s second catastrophic fire at a coronavirus ward in but three months.
Days after the newest fire, the price was at issue, with the Health Ministry putting it at 60, local health officials said 88, and Iraq’s state press agency reporting 92 dead.
Many blame corruption and mismanagement within the medical system for the disaster, and Iraq’s premier ordered the arrest of key health officials.
Doctors said they fear working within the country’s poorly constructed isolation wards and decried what they called lax safety measures.
“After both infernos, when I’m on call I numb myself because every hospital in Iraq is at high risk of burning down every single moment. So what am i able to do? I can’t quit my job. I can’t avoid the decision,” said Hadeel al-Ashabl, a doctor in Baghdad who works during a new isolation ward almost like the one in Nasiriyah. Patients also are not willing to be treated inside these hospitals, but it’s also out of their hands.
Iraq recorded over 9,600 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday within the highest 24-hour total since the pandemic began. Daily case numbers have slowly been rising since May. quite 17,600 people have died of the virus, consistent with the Health Ministry.
In April, a minimum of 82 people most of them severely ill virus patients in need of ventilators to breathe died during a fire at Baghdad’s Ibn al-Khateeb Hospital that broke out when an oxygen tank exploded. Iraq’s health minister resigned over the disaster.
Faulty construction and inadequate safety practices, involving especially the handling of oxygen cylinders, are blamed for the 2 hospital fires. The 70-bed ward at Al-Hussein Hospital was built three months ago using highly flammable interior wall panels, consistent with hospital workers and protection officials.
Inside one major Baghdad ER in the week, relatives of Covid-19 patients sat on the ground because there have been no chairs available.
With hospital space limited, Ahmed calls on Baghdad’s health directorate to advise him where to send patients. “They say, Send five patients to the present hospital, another five to the present other, and so on,” he said.
Hadeel Almainy, a dentist in Baghdad, resorted to Facebook to seek out an area for her Covid-19-stricken father, pleading: He can’t breathe, his skin is popping blue. The hospital couldn’t take us.
In the southern city of Karbala, doctors have begged on social media for donations of remdesivir, an antiviral medication wont to treat coronavirus patients.
Al-Shabl said medications and ventilators are running low at her hospital, and 60 percent of the Covid-19 patients there need the breathing machines.
For the primary time since the beginning of the pandemic, children have come to the hospital with severe virus symptoms, said Alya Yass, a pediatrician at Al-Numan Teaching Hospital in Baghdad.
Doctors blame widespread vaccine hesitancy for the present surge and fear the particular number of infections could also be above ministry figures. Many Iraqis forgo testing because they don’t trust public hospitals.