By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Amidst concerns that the government has been unable to get desired results from the healthcare providers in the contest of COVID-19 wave, the provincial authorities on May 31 confirmed 16 more related deaths, with 885 new cases of the infection, bringing the overall tally of fatalities to 481 and positive cases to 28,245 for Sindh.
The Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, in a statement, said that another 553 patients have recovered from the coronavirus disease, while 13,954 were receiving treatment either at homes and isolation centres, in addition to 1,073 at different government or privately run hospitals across the province, which constituted only eight per cent of the active COVID-19 patients in the province.
After giving a district-wise breakdown of new cases, he said that the preventive measures on part of people were the only answer to the pandemic.
“Now the cases are on the increase in the rural areas as well, which is result of carelessness including non-observance of the social distancing and not discouraging the social gathering,” he regretted.
The chief minster gave an account of month to month increases in the COVID-19 fatalities since March 19 when the first patient died at Karachi. He expressed his sorrow over the demise of patients but he did not go beyond the numbers.
On the other hand, routine COVID-19 summary was also not available to the media on May 31 and as such even the places of residence and hospitalizations of the patients also could not authentically be known. There was no feedback on the subject from the department despite reminders, which seemed to confirm the perception that department was in a state of panic and covering up for the failures.
However, some other official sources revealed that almost all the patients, except one of Sukkur, lost their lives at six or so public and private hospitals of Karachi during the last 24 hours ending at 9 am on May 31.
So far, 393 patients have lost their lives in 27 private and public hospitals across the province, including AKUH (44 deaths), CHK (37), Indus Hospital (43), JPMC (59), LUMHS Hyderabad (12), DUHS (59), SIUT (55), Ziauddin Hospital (23, PNS Shifa (14) and others, while the remaining 88 patients died in home-isolation or on their way to hospitals.
It was further learnt that 62 COVID-19 patients were using ventilators, while another 101 such patients were off ventilators at different hospitals across the province.
A source revealed that 10 of the patients died off ventilators on May 29, six of them perished at home, two were not clinically advised by doctors, while the other two died due to sudden collapse/cardio-pulmonary arrest.
As of May 29, a study made with reference of frequency of age of confirmed-19 cases suggested that the disease was highest (11,692) in people living in the age brackets of 20-40 years, which speaks a volume about the restrictions enforced by the government.
When contacted, a senior teacher associated with a public university, briefly commented on the COVID-19 activities in Sindh, requesting not to mention his name, and said that situation was getting worse day by day.
“There seems to be very little strategic planning except what we could see during the early days by Sindh government,” he continued saying they were leaving the critical or otherwise patients just at the mercy of hospitals, which needed to be addressed.
According to reports, 4,100 samples were tested during the last 24 hours, taking the Sindh’s tally of tests to 180,823. The new infections were reported from Karachi (617), Hyderabad (25), Larkana (24), Jacobabad (24), Shikarpur (16), Jamshoro (8), Sanghar (8), Mirpurkhas (5), Kambar Shahdadkot (3), Shaheed Benazirabad (2), Matiari (1), Dadu (1), Tando Allahyar (1) and Tando Mohammad Khan (1).