During the previous 24 hours, the number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised in Karachi reached its highest level since June last year with the test positivity rate at 23.46 per cent.
Federal and provincial health officials provided this information on Saturday. They said a total of 144 people diagnosed with Covid-19 were taken to various hospitals in Sindh during the previous 24 hours and 129 of them were admitted to different hospitals in Karachi.
“Karachi faced the highest number of hospitalisation since June 2020 as 129 patients with severe Covid-19 illness were admitted to different public and private hospitals,” an official of the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS,R&C) told The News while quoting the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data.
Blaming the ‘highly-transmissible’ Delta or Indian variant of the SARS-COV-2 (coronavirus) for the surge in the Covid-19 cases in Karachi and the rest of Pakistan, the health official said there were around 1,069 Covid-19 patients under treatment at various public and private hospitals in Karachi, of whom the condition of 1,004 was critical.
“Around 682 patients were on high-flow oxygen, 246 on low-flow oxygen while 77 on life support,” he said, adding that there was tremendous pressure on the high dependency units (HDU) of the health facilities where hundreds of patients were on BiPAP and CPAP (machines).
During the previous 24 hours, 3,091 people were tested for Covid-19 in Karachi, of whom 725 were found positive. Thus, the current positivity rate of Covid-19 in the city stands at 23.46 per cent, the official said, adding that Karachi’s positivity was second highest in the country following Muzaffarabad where it was 33.90 per cent.
Commenting on the situation, a Sindh health department official said seven leading Covid-19 treatment facilities were under immense pressure while some of them were taking no more patients. He explained that the Infectious Diseases Hospital at NIPA, Karachi Expo Centre, Aga Khan Hospital and Indus Hospital were packed to capacity while Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi and Lyari General Hospital were also under pressure due to the rising hospitalisation.
21 die in Sindh
The viral disease claimed 21 more lives in Sindh during the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 5,814 in the province. In the meantime, 1,683 new cases emerged after 16,156 tests were conducted, said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday in his daily statement on the pandemic situation in the province.
The CM explained that with 21 more deaths, the Covid-19 fatality rate remained at 1.6 per cent.
He said the detection of 1,683 new Covid-19 cases through 16,156 samples constituted a 10.4 per cent current detection rate. He added that so far 4,873,600 tests had been conducted, against which 364,767 patients were diagnosed, of whom 322,786 (88.5 per cent) had recovered, including 368 during the previous 24 hours.
Shah said there were currently 36,167 patients of Covid-19 in Sindh. Of them 34,957 were in home isolation, 69 at isolation centres and 1,141 at different hospitals. The condition of 1,008 patients was stated to be critical and 81 of them had been shifted onto ventilators.
According to the CM, of the 1,683 new cases, 1,447 belonged to Karachi, including 566 from District East, 338 from District South, 273 from District Central, 111 from District Malir, 105 from District Korangi, and 54 from District West.
In the rest of Sindh, Hyderabad had 51 new cases, Shaheed Benazirabad 19, Jamshoro 17, Badin and Tando Allahyar 15 each, Tharparkar 12, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot 10 each, Sujawal nine, Sukkur and Khairpur six each, Dadu, Thatta and Tando Muhammad Khan seven each, Sanghar four, Naushehro Feroz and Ghotki three each, Kashmore and Larkana two each, and Matiari and Shikarpur had one new case each.
The CM urged the people of Sindh to abide by the standard operating procedures issued by the government to prevent themselves and others from contracting Covid-19.