Sunday Apr 05, 2020
KARACHI: The Sindh health department has decided that all patients that are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms of the novel coronavirus would henceforth be referred to the metropolis' Expo Centre.
A notification addressed to district health officers (DHO) on Sunday mentioned that the new instructions would come into effect starting April 6. All referrals would go ahead after a form has been submitted to the focal person.
"Medical superintendents of the hospitals of Karachi are strictly advised to keep the positive cases having moderate or severe symptoms at their hospitals in isolation wards," it added.
So far, more than 3,000 positive cases of the COVID-19 have been reported in Pakistan, of which the majority is in Punjab, at 1,380 whereas Sindh's tally is 881.
Over the weekend, a doctor at Karachi’s Abbasi Shaheed Hospital had contracted the coronavirus, according the facility's administration, which added that the rest of the staff working alongside her were also tested.
It was learnt that the doctor’s husband, who works at the Dr Ruth K. M. Pfau Civil Hospital, had contacted the virus earlier. Hospital authorities suspected the doctor had contracted the virus from her husband.
The hospital administration said that the staff who came into contact with the doctor in question were asked to go into isolation.
Incidents of doctors, who have been battling on the frontlines without the guarantee of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing positive for the virus are on the rise.
Last week, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had told Prime Minister Imran Khan that the province faced a shortage of PPE and coronavirus testing kits as authorities "were running out" of medical gear.
The testing kits provided by the provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) had "accuracy issues", which was why Sindh had opted not to use them, Shah had said. He added that the medical professionals working at the isolation centres and hospitals had to wear PPEs to avoid the risk of infection.
The CM had then requested the federal government to provide additional PPEs and testing kits. When Sindh PDMA Director-General Syed Salman Shah commented that he had sent PPEs to the province, the CM said the experts working with provincial government had pointed out they had some accuracy issues and, therefore, they were not being used.