KARACHI - The recent data from Sindh In­stitute of Urology and Trans­plantation (SIUT) has revealed a surge of COVID19 infections in dialysis, transplant and cancer patients at SIUT.

Due to the spread in the com­munity last week, 55 additional patients of dialysis, transplant and cancer had been admitted in SIUT overwhelming SIUT’s capacity, said a statement is­sued by the SIUT on Thursday.

Unfortunately, these patients were immunosuppressed and therefore contact infections readily and frequently and had to be protected vigorously; an example in hand was COVID-19.

The SIUT treats over 16000 patients whose immunity is com­promised because of the disease or treatment. This include over 6,000 registered dialysis pa­tients who have to come twice or thrice a week for free dialysis - a life-saving procedure for these patients. As many as 41 dialysis patients are under treatment for COVID-19 to date and at least two patients are being diagnosed dai­ly. The SIUT also has 5000 renal transplant recipients on regular life-time follow-up who are also immunocompromised.

Around 20 to 22 transplant patients are infected with the disease who are getting vigor­ous treatment including high regimen immunosuppression.

The SIUT invests two billion of rupees yearly only on the care of dialysis and transplant patients, as all treatment is free to the patients. The institute also has more than 5000 cancer patients availing anti-cancer treatment facilities and can present with serious and sometimes fulmi­nate course needing intensive and prolonged treatment.

The SIUT has marshaled its team to provide urgent treat­ment for this special group of patients of dialysis, transplant and cancer, which requires pro­longed intensive care. Upto last week, there were only four cen­tres, public and private, which were not sufficient to treat the large burden of COVID-19 pa­tients. It is commendable that the government of Sindh took further steps and facilitated more hospitals with COVID-19 treatment.