Karachi: The provincial government is expected to impose severe restrictions in the city to stem the rapid spread of the Delta variant, which currently accounts for 92 per cent of infection cases and has a positivity ratio of more than 23%.
According to a Sindh Health Department official, the provincial government may decide on certain severe steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Karachi at the next meeting of the Provincial Taskforce on COVID-19, which is planned for today.
“Without putting strong non-pharmaceutical interventions in place, Covid’s spread cannot be controlled,” he warned.
The health authorities have begun allocating additional beds, rooms, and human resources at two major tertiary-care hospitals in Karachi to cope with the rising number of COVID-19 patients, according to the article.
“A surgical ward comprising 48 beds is being converted into a COVID-19 ward at the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), while the pulmonology ward at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) has also been put on standby to deal with the rising cases due to the Delta variant, which is now spreading like wildfire in the city,” a Sindh Health Department official told the publication.
According to the official, all elective surgeries at the CHK have been cancelled to prevent healthcare workers from contracting the virus, and other elective surgeries and procedures at other medical facilities have also been halted, with the exception of emergencies, indicating that Karachi is on the verge of a “serious medical crisis.”
According to the official, hospitalisation has increased fourfold from 390 patients in April to around 1,000 in mid-July, and some COVID-19 treatment facilities, such as the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Nipa and the Expo Centre, are already overburdened, while other tertiary-care health facilities are also under severe strain.
Delta variant spreading across Karachi
Virologists, on the other hand, say that the Delta form of the coronavirus currently accounts for 92 per cent of new cases in Karachi, and that it is the primary reason of the city’s rising rate of positive and hospitalisation.
“Our experts at the National Institute of Virology at the University of Karachi analysed 90 Covid samples on July 14 and 15, and of them, 83 or over 92%, were of the Delta variant. This is an extremely alarming situation,” said Dr Iqbal Chaudhry, director of KU’s International Centre for Chemical & Biological Sciences.
He believes that since the Delta variant is highly transmissible and infects a huge number of individuals, more people will need to be hospitalised, putting even greater strain on healthcare institutions.