Pakistan News

Suspected coronavirus patients being admitted to non-designated hospitals in Peshawar

Suspected coronavirus patients being admitted to non-designated hospitals in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: The suspected patients of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continue to be admitted to hospitals other than Police Services Hospital, which has been declared a facility dedicated to investigate and manage suspected patients of the virus, according to sources.

Dr Tahir Nadim Khan, the director-general health services, told Dawn that Police Services Hospital was declared as the main facility to provide isolation to the suspected non-critical patients of the virus.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government declared emergency on February 4 and invoked Public Health (Surveillance and Response) Act, 2017 to pave way for speedy procurement of medical and surgical supplies to deal with threats posed by the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in China, he said.

However, the 60-bed health facility is not accepting patients for lack of intensive care facilities.

The latest case is of a 25-year-old patient, with travel history to Sharjah, who was admitted to isolation room at Khyber Teaching Hospital.

Sources say Police Services Hospital is not accepting patients for lack of intensive care facilities

His swab was sent to National Institute of Health Islamabad which was declared negative on Monday.

On February 22, he turned up with fever, pneumonia, coughing etc for which he was sent to Police Services Hospital in an ambulance to be admitted there but he wasn’t hospitalised and sent back to KTH.

He is being treated at KTH under the supervision of pulmonology department. Doctors, medical students and other health professionals also show concerns over shortage of protective measures.

Senior physicians said that government declared emergency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the outbreak of 2019-nCoV in neighbouring China and notified Police Services Hospital as focal point to receive suspected patients from airports and other hospitals for further management, including collecting swab to be tested and exclude 2019-nCoV as cause.

The government also allocated over 800 beds in public and private hospitals to ensure that the threat posed by virus was tackled effectively.

The 25-year-old patient was refused by Police Services Hospital, saying it did not have intensive care unit for serious patients.

“Police Services Hospital must have the facility for suspected patients and also intensive care unit including respirator facility to manage critical patients,” a physician said.

Meanwhile, the patient underwent dialysis at the nephrology ward of KTH to high level of urea and creatinine to save him from renal failure.

The director-general health told Dawn that Police Services Hospital was equipped with all facilities required for management of the suspected patients but patients with other serious illnesses were sent to the tertiary healthcare facilities.

“Isolation and intensive care are two different things. This patient was accepted by Services Hospital for epidemiological assessment but due to not falling within the WHO criteria he was sent back to KTH,” he said.

Dr Tahir said that condition of the patient deteriorated due to his underlying illness and then a sample was taken just as another precautionary measure, the result of which was negative.

“We have screened all Chinese settlements in the province and people, who have arrived from China. As of February 23, Pakistan has tested 85 sample, including 13 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with zero positive case,” he added.

Dr Irfan at Directorate General of Health Establishment, Islamabad said that they had screened over 500,000 people. “We appeal to the people to cooperate with the health staff,” he added.

He said that passengers were required to fill in forms upon arrival before being screened.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2020

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