ISLAMABAD          -         Non-implementation of coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has put the public health at risk, The Nation learnt yesterday. 

The Nation observed dozens of patients at the filter clinic (new emergency) of PIMS waiting for their turn for medical examination without keeping social distance. 

Though the majority of visitors including male and female were wearing masks, however, there was no implementation on keeping physical distance. 

The hospital administration though has installed a disinfectant gate before entering the filter clinic, yet there is no direction of following the main SOPs to prevent the COVID-19 spread. 

Visitors accused the hospital administration of not taking proper preventive measures in the hospital for the visiting patients, while the hospital administration stressed upon the show of civic responsibility by citizens while coming to the hospital for medical examination. 

Muhammad Ashfaq, a patient and labour by profession, while talking to The Nation said that there is no implementation on COVID-19 SOPs in the filter clinic where citizens come for their clinical examination before they are declared COVId-19 positive of negative. 

“I was feeling cold and fever after torrential rains occurred last week and decided to visit the hospital for the COID-19 test, but certainly there is no implementation on COVID-19 SOPs on the place where the public reach to seek the disease cure,” he said. 

He added that though people coming to the hospital are seen wearing masks to protect themselves from the virus, still there is a need of implementation on social distancing asked by the government also. 

Nadia Manzoor, a working woman, said that dozens of people are standing in queues and sitting on benches for their clinical examination at a filter clinic without maintaining the mandatory SOPs of keeping the physical distance. 

She said that PIMS provides low cost health treatment so patients who cannot afford costly private treatment visit this facility. “However, there is less space for patients visiting hospitals for their COVID-19 examination,” she said. 

She also said that PIMS is a hospital where people from every walk of life come for free treatment and the administration has closed its eyes for implementing the COVID-19 SOPs in the hospital. 

PIMS media coordinator Dr. Waseem Khawaja said that the main OPD is closed but the COVID-19 filter clinic and emergency is operational for the patients. 

He said that PIMS is facing a huge burden of patients where above 6000 patients were being examined in OPD daily before the COVID-19 emerged. 

He said that despite the closure of main OPD, the PIMS is receiving hundreds of patients daily while COVID-19 is still not over. 

Dr. Waseem said that the hospital administration is trying to cope with the rush at emergencies and filter clinic but citizens should also have to play equally responsible role.

He urged citizens to avoid visiting hospitals unnecessarily.

“The virus is still not over and a mistake on the public part can also put their health on risk,” he said.