Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is rocked by emergence of new coronavirus cases within its staff members—doctors, nurses and paramedics— and is struggling to cope with the alarming situation.
The hospital which is considered the biggest healthcare facility in Islamabad as well as the entire northern belt including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan, reported 30 members of its staff tested positive for Covid-19.
With this new tally, Islamabad’s total number of confirmed cases reached 490 and according to a senior doctor of the hospital, of all those (around 30 patients) admitted at the hospital four are in critical condition.
“We have ten ventilators in our corona-dedicated isolation wards and of them four are occupied,” said Joint Executive Director of the PIMS Dr Minhajus Siraj while talking to Pakistan Observer here Wednesday.
He however made it clear that not all those PIMS employees tested positive were being kept and taken care of at the hospital.
“We have asked most of them to self-isolate as we have limited number of beds and patients could face problems if all beds are occupied by PIMS own staff,” said he.
PIMS had to seal its Mother and Child Hospital (MCH) a day earlier when 15 people from the hospital as well as the operating theatre were diagnosed with Covid-19. The number jumped to thirty on Wednesday.
The measure was taken when a lady doctor’s video went viral on social media complaining that she was tested positive for Covid-19 but was directed by the MCH management to attend to her duties despite suffering from Covid-19.
“I have had symptoms for the last three days but was continuously performing duties,” had complained the doctor. PIMS administration spurred into action after the video clip was reported by social and conventional media of Pakistan and not only quarantined her in the private ward reserved for coronavirus patients but also conducted Covid-19 tests of other staff of MCH.
According to JED Dr Minhajus Siraj the lady doctor had been allotted a room even before her video went viral. There were certain motives/issued behind making viral that clip. “We have ordered an inquiry into the allegations of negligence that will be concluded within three days,” said he.
PIMS spokesperson Dr Wasim Khawaja said it was not unusual for the doctors and paramedics being diagnosed with Covid-19. This is a worldwide phenomenon that those in direct contact with the patients are exposed to virus, he said.
Even in advanced societies like the UK and the US doctors and nurses are falling prey to Covid-19, said Dr Wasim.
However, what makes Pakistan’s case different from other countries is that here people even doctors and nurses are not willing to undergo coronavirus tests. This number (30) might jump to even a higher figure if all the doctors and paramedics including employees undergo the test, he claimed. Meanwhile, after closure of MCH, 30 patients were discharged with directions to visit other hospitals in case of emergencies while three serious cases were referred to other hospital. These hospitals include Polyclinic, PIMS children hospital and Capital Hospital.