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Covid-19 death toll crosses 15,000 mark

Covid-19 death toll crosses 15,000 mark

ISLAMABAD: While around 20 per cent decline was observed in the number of Covid-19 cases, over 100 deaths were reported for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, taking the overall tally to 15,000 mortalities.

Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari, daughter of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari, has been infected with coronavirus.

According to data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 4,004 cases and 102 deaths were reported in a single day. Out of the 102 deaths, 95 passed away in hospitals. As many as 4,529 patients were admitted to hospitals across the country, of which 443 were on ventilators.

According to the data, 70pc ventilators were occupied in Multan, 69pc in Lahore, 60pc in Gujranwala and 58pc in Islamabad. Moreover, 85pc oxygenated beds were in use in Gujranwala, 82pc in Peshawar, 75pc in Gujrat and 59pc in Swat.

The number of active cases continued to increase and the tally reached 64,373 on Wednesday. So far 700,188 people have contracted the deadly virus and 15,026 lost their lives.

Bakhtawar contracts Covid-19

“I tested positive for Covid19 on April 2nd - isolating and recovering. Just a reminder to keep being cautious, call people out if their masks don’t cover their nose, get vaccinated & help those less fortunate to get vaccinated too. May Allah keep us all safe. Aameen,” Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari tweeted.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser stressed the need for vaccinating senior citizens in accordance with the NCOC guidelines. He said friendly ambience and supportive role of doctors and paramedical staff played a vital role in fast recovery of the coronavirus-affected patients.

The NA speaker expressed these views while chairing a meeting on streamlining the vaccination process for Covid-19 patients in Islamabad on Wednesday. “There is a need to upgrade facilities in government hospitals and guiding mechanism for patients is imperative to guide the patients, especially in government hospitals,” he said.

Expressing displeasure over the Pakistan Institute of Medical Science (PIMS) management’s unprofessional response to tackling Covid-19 patients, he said the management level needed to be more responsive.

The NA Speaker also briefed the meeting on his visit to Polyclinic Hospital Islamabad and stressed the need for making government hospitals a model for the whole country.

MNAs Ali Nawaz Awan and Raja Khurram Shahzad also expressed reservations over the mechanism of handling Covid-19 patients, especially by the PIMS management. They said there was a need to have mobile teams, especially in rural areas of Islamabad, for vaccination of senior citizens.

Mr Awan invited Speaker Qaiser to visit the Chak Shahzad vaccination centre, a state-of-the-art facility managed by National Institute of Health.

It is worth mentioning here that President Dr Arif Alvi had in November last year promulgated the Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) Ordinance according to which PIMS will be run through a board of governors who will look after the affairs of the hospital. The board members were appointed and notified by the Ministry of National Health Services on the recommendations of a search and nomination council. The BoG has overall control over the functions of the hospital.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2021

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