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 a sufficient 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 lack of necessary equipment and facili­