Pakistan Fears Dengue Outbreak along with COVID-19

Pakistan Fears Dengue Outbreak along with COVID-19

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) plans to accelerate the development of a dedicated facility in Chak Shahzad for COVID-19 patients, as it also expects an increase in dengue virus cases.

Over 13,000 cases occurred in Islamabad alone last year and over 60 percent of the 10,118 cases in Punjab came from Rawalpindi. An official at the NHS ministry said there may be a large number of cases this year because fumigation is not being performed. They said we need to take big measures or stop choking hospitals would be impossible.

By setting up a new facility for COVID-19 patients, both hospitals and dengue patients would be able to care for them at the same time without burdening isolation centers.

Dr. Minhajus Siraj, Joint Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), told the media that Medical Ward II was the first part of the hospital that was converted into an isolation ward exclusively for COVID-19.

He said:

Dedicated facility for Covid-19 patients to be completed in four to six weeks to avoid choking existing hospital. However, soon that isolation ward, which has 30 beds, was filled and it was decided to convert the hospital’s private ward into an isolation ward as well, and 50 beds were placed in that ward.

We currently have 45 patients in the hospital, but dengue season has begun and we have been expecting a spike in the next four weeks, due to which a new ward will have to be established in the hospital to avoiding choking the isolation wards.

He said dengue was not as serious issue as coronavirus as in the former case the spread is by mosquitoes and in the latter case, it is infectious from human to human.

Muhammad Salman Siddique
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