ISLAMABAD - The speculation regarding the death of Dr Furqan-ul-Haq due to the non-availability of ventilators in Karachi seems to be unfair, as it appears there were several hundred free ventilators in the city.

As such, the cause of death could be anything other than the non-availability of ventilators; around seven hundred ventilators were free and not in use at the time of Dr. Furqan's death in Karachi.

According to the data shared by an official of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with this correspondent, at this time, Karachi has a total number of 913 ventilators, out of which the government hospitals own 835 while the rest belonging to private hospitals.

While ventilators are extremely scarce following the spike in critical patients of coronavirus all around the world, however, in case of Karachi, the data shared also stated that only 17 COVID-19 patients are on ventilators. Apart from this, the patients who are on ventilators in Karachi for other medical reasons are around one hundred and sixty, according to the information shared by NDMA.

This means that the total numbers of ventilators being used in Karachi are not more than 190. And the ventilators that are still to be used and are free at the moment are above seven hundred.

Therefore, the death of Dr Furqan couldn't be because of the non-availability of ventilators as there were as much as 700 ventilators free at that moment in Karachi.

However, according to Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Secretary General Dr Qaiser Sajjad, Dr Haq died on Sunday after he needed to be put on a ventilator but could not find the facility despite visiting several hospitals in the city.

When asked if the Sindh government was facing a shortage of ventilators, Media Coordinator to the Health and Population Welfare Minister Meeran Yousuf had said yesterday that ventilators and beds were available at CHK and JPMC. "However, we’ve initiated an inquiry [into the matter]," she said.

On the other hand, Indus Hospital CEO Dr Abdul Bari claimed Dr Haq had delayed medical treatment because of the social stigma associated with contracting the coronavirus. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Dr Nafisa Shah has also said that the incident of Dr Furqan-ul-Haq’s death was sorrowful and demanded to open an investigation into the medic’s death due to coronavirus.