ISLAMABAD- The federal capital hospitals have run short of ventilators as the number of active novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the city crossed the seven thousand mark, The Nation learnt on Saturday.

Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), the COVID-19 designated hospital by National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMA) and a major private hospital of the city have no more ventilators vacant for COVID-19 patients.

According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) data, 1798 ventilators in the hospitals of the country have been designated for COVID-19 patients out of which 246 are so far occupied.

However, officials of the federal capital hospitals designated for COVID-19 informed The Nation that there is no ventilator left for COVID-19 patients and all are occupied. According to NCOC data, there are 7052 active COVID-19 cases in the federal capital and 270 have died including four patients who lost lives in the previous 24 hours.

The District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Zaeem Zia in his social media message said that the COVID-19 positivity ratio in the city was hovering above 7 per cent adding that daily tracing adds around 40 to 50 per cent of the cases in Islamabad.

PIMS Executive Director (ED) Dr. Anser Maxood talking to The Nation said that hospital has around 20 COVID-19 designated ventilators, but he cannot confirm what is the current occupancy situation of the vents in the hospital.

“However, until tomorrow all vents were occupied,” he said.

Similarly, the NDMA COVID-19 designated 50 bed hospital has also run short of the ventilators due to COVID-19 patients’ influx.

Media Coordinator NDMA talking to The Nation said that there were 15 ventilators in the hospital and all were occupied.

Spokesperson Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) Sajid Hussain Shah said that there is a growing influx of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and he cannot confirm the number of occupied and vacant ventilators in the public sector hospitals.

According to the data available with The Nation till November 17, there was no COVID-19 patient on ventilator.

The NCOC data said that 458 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the federal capital in the previous 24 hours and four deaths also occurred. However, the NCOC data dashboard does not show how many patients in the federal capital were critical and on ventilator.

According to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) Track and Trace Surveillance Cell data, the health authorities in the city have tested 441 positive cases and traced 768 contacts, while 111 positive samples of the residents have been collected. 

Official data said that 441 fresh cases include 274 male and 167 female patients. The data said that in the previous one month, over 6500 people have been infected with the virus.

According to the age-wise distribution of the cases of the previous 24 hours, the majority of people infected with the virus were of aged between 31-45 years. 138 people were infected from this age group, 91 were between 21-30, 83 between 45-60 years, 43 between 11-20 years, 47 between 61-80 years and 30 were between 1-10 years.

Public health expert Dr. Abdul Wali Khan said that the situation of COVID-19 spread is worrisome and could bring serious consequences.

He said that during the first wave, post monsoon and humid weather had a positive impact and COVID-19 positivity ratio dropped to 2 per cent.

“However as predicted earlier, dry weather and low temperature has increased the positivity and in the ongoing month it has surged to 6-7 per cent which is a serious matter,” he said.