Abdul Sattar

MARDAN: The third wave of coronavirus in Pakistan, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is proving to be as lethal as the first two waves, and it is even difficult to find place for an infected patient in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital.

During the last three weeks, patients had to wait for availability of ICU beds and that is available only if a patient already admitted recovers or passes away. It has also been noticed that some corona patients die at the general wards while waiting for availability of ICU bed.

Health experts say the new variant of coronavirus badly affects lungs and a patients needs oxygen supply in that case. Bahadur Khan from Katlang area of Mardan also died due to non-availability of ICU bed despite having financial affordability. The family members of the deceased told TNN that they were told by doctors that the condition of the patient was serious and he needs to be in the ICU, but space was not available despite all kind of efforts. The son of Bahadur Khan, Shahid had also died of coronavirus earlier in Dubai and he was laid to rest there at a time when preparations were underway for his marriage.

Despite visible damages by corona, people are unfortunately not following precautionary measures and some people even equate wearing a facemask with timidity. Apart of huge death toll in hospitals, a large number of corona patients are also dying at home, but still no one is taking the threat seriously. The administration’s steps for ensuring implementation of precautionary measures are also confined to lip service only.

In Mardan Medical Complex, daily over 150 patients are admitted and the 16-bed ICU remains full to capacity all the times, and eight to 10 patients die every day. Many people have taken their patients home where they are arranging oxygen on their own. This has also created oxygen shortage in the market and its price has also gone up.

Health experts earlier estimated that the third wave of coronavirus would begin in March and recede in mid-April, but it is continuing even beyond that and it seems that the government was not prepared for this unexpected intensity.

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