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Tuesday Nov 17 2020
Web Desk

Surgeries put on hold at Karachi’s biggest heart hospital due to COVID-19

Web Desk
Picture of the NICVD building in Karachi. Photo: File

KARACHI: Owing to the growing number of coronavirus cases among medical personnel and doctors, many leading hospitals in Pakistan are compelled to put surgeries and other procedures on the back burner.

Per a report by The News, the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on Monday announced that all surgeries in NICVD Karachi and its satellite centres in Tando Muhammad Khan and Sukkur have been cancelled after some nurses, doctors, and paramedical staff tested positive for the virus.

So far, around 9,666 healthcare providers have contracted the infectious disease in Pakistan, out of which 94 patients succumbed to the disease, including 67 doctors, one medical student, two nurses, and 24 paramedics. 

Speaking to The News, the head of surgery at the NICVD Dr Pervez Chaudhry said that surgeries had to be postponed as a precautionary measure to protect surgeons and other healthcare staff as well as patients from any complications.

"As a precaution, we have decided not to discharge any patient who had had an operation over the last week," he said.

Another official of the NICVD said at least 15 of their staff members, including doctors, surgeons, and other staff, had tested positive for the infectious disease, compelling them to postpone all surgeries and elective procedures. He said only emergency services were being offered at the cardiac-care facility at the moment.

“Our emergency services are available round the clock at the NICVD, where primary PCI or angioplasty in the emergency is being carried out on patients who suffered a heart attack. All the elective procedures and surgeries have been put on hold due to the spread of COVID-19 among the staff,” an official of the health facility said.

On the other hand, several orthopaedic surgeons and doctors, as well as the staff of the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), also contracted the viral infection, forcing the administration to send the infected healthcare providers to their homes for self-isolation.

Speaking to The News, a CHK official said that 17 of their doctors, surgeons, other staff had tested positive for the disease.

"Due to the spread of COVID-19 among healthcare providers, the hospital has been forced to reduce the number of surgeries and elective procedures at the health facility," he said.