People should understand the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic by looking at the devastation of countries that have far more advanced healthcare systems than Pakistan’s , says Dr Abdul Bari, the CEO of The Indus Hospital.
More than 1,000 known cases of the virus have been reported across Pakistan so far.
The Indus Hospital is one of the medical facilities in Karachi that is in close coordination with the Sindh government and has medical kits to conduct tests.
Speaking on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Thursday, Dr Bari urged people to remain home until the government lifts the lockdown.
He warned that if the outbreak of the virus gets worse, the repercussions will be severe because people were not adhering to guidelines.
He added that Pakistan has a fragile healthcare system, which will only add to the problem in case of emergency.
“The healthcare systems of countries like Spain, Italy and France are of high standard but we can see how badly they collapsed,” Dr Bari said.
The Indus Hospital, he says, is testing 800 people per day and each of facility’s isolation units has 40 beds.
The hospital, however, is currently hosting only those people who are displaying symptoms of the coronavirus and have travel history.
“For normal cases, we have established two other hospitals, one with 100 beds and another of 150 beds,” Dr Bari said.
“We are still trying to extend the facilities and capacity so that more patients can be taken in.”
More than 100 consultants and 200 junior doctors are currently working at the hospital. Around 500 nurses and 200 technicians are also deployed whom Dr Bari has commended for their “selfless approach” in caring for the coronavirus patients.
“We are not exhausting our doctors right now. We are saving their energy for the future in case the situation gets worse in the next week and they are needed here for longer hours,” the hospital’s CEO said.
When asked if the increasing coronavirus cases might create shortage of ventilators, Dr Bari said buying a ventilator is not an issue, but training medical staff to use it is.