TANDO MOHAMMAD KHAN               -           After the increase in the num­ber of coronavirus cases in lower parts of Sindh, the health depart­ment seems helpless to cope with the situation, as the majority of government hospitals in rural and remote areas seem to be incapac­itated to deal with the problem, as they lack testing kits, quaran­tine centers, ICU trained staff, suf­ficient number of beds, ventilators, trained doctors, paramedics and personal protective equipment, The Nation has learnt. A survey reveals that apart from Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences Jams­horo/Hyderabad (LUMHS), no oth­er public or private health facility has the facility of testing suspected Covid-19 patients.

The healthcare staff at major pub­lic health hospitals has been ig­nored to the extent that nobody from among them has been includ­ed in the taskforce formed at dis­trict level for their technical and medical-relevant advice. The Force daily meets and decides how to treat people who have so far been tested positive for the highly conta­gious viral disease.

During the survey, it was observed that no personal protective equip­ment (PPE) had been provided to these hospitals be it district, taluka, Rural Health Centers, Basic Health Units and dispensaries by the Sindh government.

A health official said they had ac­quired PPE and masks from differ­ent philanthropists and social wel­fare organisations or purchased their own at the start of corona­virus outbreak in Karachi, but the Sindh government and the Provin­cial Disaster Management Authori­ty (PDMA) did not provide PPE in asufficient quantity.

The isolation wards, established in rural areas of Sindh seems a big joke for the public, without any facilities at the centers, it lacks water, meal, power and other basic services. A similar situation exists at the Comprehensive School’s (quarantine center), which has eight confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 105 suspected ones.

The situation in lower parts of Sindh could become very alarming in the com­ing days, as Deputy Commissioner Tan­do Mohammad Khan, in his recent media talk, has said the cases could soar to thou­sands in the district.

The DHQ hospital building is the larg­est health facility in district.

However, doctors who are in an acute shortage of protective equipment, medicines and machinery said that in case of any coronavirus positive case, the hospital staff and patients could contract the infection due to