ISLAMABAD-Two doctors who shifted critical novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infected patient on ventilator at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) have also been isolated, The Nation learnt on Sunday.

Safety of the doctors was compromised as the hospital has limited number of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for around 800 medical staff serving at the hospital. Doctors said that some of the wards in hospital also lack hand sanitizers for doctors and paramedical staff.

A United States returned lady was put on ventilator on Saturday after her situation went critical. Later, two doctors who put her on ventilator were also isolated in the ward as they were not equipped with the PPE while shifting the patient. The doctors who were shifted included a senior who treats patients in critical unit and the other was from the medical unit. Both had rushed to shift the patient on ventilator when they were called in emergency after the health situation of the COVID-19 infected deteriorated.

PIMS Spokesperson Dr. Waseem Khawaja said that number of suspects and confirmed patients has increased and the isolation ward in the hospital has lesser facilities.

He said that 10 beds have been allocated for patients in isolation ward, five are occupied with suspects and two are confirmed with one ventilator. He added that around 500 persons visited COVID-19 ward for examination in last two days.

Dr. Waseem said that the hospital already lacks ventilators and patients remain in queue to get number to be shifted on it.

“Indeed, the hospital lacks ventilators and beds to cater COVID-19 patients,” he said.

Dr. Waseem said that there is a need of shifting the COVID-19 isolation ward at a separate location as PIMS already has 10,000 patients’ influx daily.

PIMS spokesperson said that the medical team of COVID-19 ward had been equipped with PPEs, but rest of the hospital staff working in other departments still lack PPE.

He said there is rush of patients in PIMS and staff is also in panic as hospital already needs upgradation in facilities. He added that a separate facility must be allocated for COVID-19 patients and all new medical facilities must be purchased for the patients.

As per the documents available with The Nation, PIMS hospital has above 1,100 beds capacity, 448 doctors and 309 paramedical staff.

Former Administrator PIMS Dr. Altaf Hussain while talking to The Nation said that PIMS daily Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) influx has crossed the figure of examining 10,000 patients and putting COVID-19 burden on it is risky.

Dr. Altaf Hussain suggested that the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) should declare the Federal General Hospital (FGH) at Chak Shehzad as ‘Corona Quarantine Centre’ and provide separate facilities there.

He said that the same was done in 2005 earthquake.

He said the health ministry should have set up a separate and less populated facility for specifically receiving and treating COVID-19 suspects and confirmed patients.

Earlier, National Assembly Committee on National Health Services (NHS) had also directed the government to establish Coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation wards at distance from populated areas.