Positive cases, deaths ‘decline’ in Punjab

LAHORE: The number of new reported coronavirus-positive cases and related deaths has started dropping in Punjab, as 1,523 new cases were reported in the province on Sunday as compared to 2,538 on Saturday, while Covid-19 claimed 60 lives as compared to 82 on Saturday.

In Lahore too, the number of new cases was 728 on Sunday as compared to 1,166 on Saturday.

The official data of past 10 days shows that the total number of Covid-19 patients in the government and private hospitals was recorded at 1,031 on June 11 and by June 20 the number dropped to 861.

However, hospitals in Lahore have 2,419 beds for stable coronavirus patients, asymptomatic or mild cases, in their high dependency units (HDUs) and intensive care units (ICU).

Mayo Hospital Chief Executive Officer Prof Asad Aslma Khan told Dawn that as per report generated at 8pm on Sunday, as many as 226 HDU beds (for coronavirus patients needing oxygen) and 38 ICU beds (for patients needing ventilators) were lying vacant in 16 public hospitals in Lahore.

Of 512 HDU beds in Lahore, Prof Khan said, 286 were occupied and 226 (44.14 percent) lying vacant. Similarly, of 184 ICU beds, 146 were occupied and 38 (20.65pc) still vacant.

All the HDU beds in Jinnah Hospital, Lahore General Hospital (LGH) and Punjab Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI), Lahore, are occupied. Meanwhile, 100pc ICU beds occupancy rate has been recorded in Jinnah Hospital, LGH and Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital.

A health department official said the number of new coronavirus-positive cases might further drop in the days to come following the latest “selected lockdown” imposed in different localities in Lahore and other cities on June 16 midnight. Since the coronavirus incubation period could go up to 14 days, the official said a fair comparison of new cases could be made by June 30.

Meanwhile, Punjab specialised healthcare and medical education department Secretary Nabeel Awan has released the statistics of treatment and available facilities in 46 teaching hospitals in Punjab.

Mr Awan says a total 5,110 patients, including 226 in the last 24 hours, have recovered and returned to their homes. In Punjab’s all government teaching hospitals, he says, 4,236 beds are lying unoccupied out of 6,305 reserved for Covid-19 patients.

In Lahore’s government teaching hospitals 1,718 beds are unoccupied out of 2,333 reserved for Covid-19 patients. Similarly, in Punjab’s teaching hospitals’ isolation wards, as many as 3,378 beds were available out of 4,586 reserved for these patients. In isolation wards of the government teaching hospitals in Lahore, he says, 1,384 beds are unoccupied out of 1,631 reserved for them.

In the HDUs across Punjab, he says, some 639 beds are unoccupied out of 1,175 reserved for Corona patients, whereas in the HDUs of Lahore’s teaching hospitals, 259 beds are unoccupied out of 518.

The health secretary says some 220 ventilators out of total 433 reserved ones are available in the province. Whereas in Lahore, he says, 65 ventilators are lying unoccupied out of 204 reserved for the coronavirus patients.

It is learnt that former Punjab health minister and Chief Minister’s Task Force chairman Dr Tahir Ali Javed has also been admitted to the Jinnah Hospital with acute breathing problems. He had tested positive on June 18.