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Coronavirus: Shortage of Resources in Pakistan

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Pakistan is going through a very critical condition where the coronavirus pandemic cases have crossed 15,000 mark and 340 people have died so far. Pakistan officially reported the first Covid-19 case on 18 March and within just more than 1 month, thousands of people have infected by this deadly disease. Total recovered cases are 3,425 and active hospitalized cases have crossed 11, 500. This means, due to the rapid increase of patients, hospitals are getting overwhelmed and they require more staff, space, beds, machinery, and resources to deal effectively with the virus.

The data and predictions of experts show that if ventilators, PPEs, and other significant machinery and equipment are not arranged quickly, dealing with infected patients will become extremely difficult. Pakistan is running out of ventilators and beds in private as well as in government hospitals. Beds for patients are very less that is posing a threat and causing big problems.

On top of that, testing kits are also short and due to that, fewer people are getting tested by each province. Less testing means less infected cases are identified. The government has taken notice of the shortage and scarcity of essential needs and testing kits in the hospitals and has increased its efforts to meet the requirements. China and other countries have started providing helpful resources in this hour of need.

Ventilators and PPEs are the most essential resources in this pandemic. Personal protective equipment is a combination of protective clothing, helmets, goggles, masks, and other garments or equipment designed to protect the paramedic staff and doctors from infected patients. Doctors have recently raised their voices over the issue of personal protection equipment shortage.

Ventilators, on the other hand, are crucial for patients with serious shortness of breath symptoms. Statistics show that there are only 150 ventilators in the whole province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while there are only 49 ventilators in Baluchistan. This is a highly alarming situation that can lead to dire situations.

In Punjab, the province with the highest population, public hospitals have a total of 13,000 ventilators. Moreover, there are only 250 ventilators in Lahore government hospitals and Lahore has hundreds of cases which means there is an extreme shortage of ventilators in the Lahore region and private hospitals in Lahore have 475 ventilators.

Pakistan is going through a tough situation where not only the poor is suffering but the whole of humanity is suffering. Due to the recent lockdown from 5 April, the cases curve and deaths curve has started to flatten. But the fear is still there that whenever the restrictions are eased the cases will surge and then it will be hard to control.

Being an underdeveloped country, we cannot tackle such situations easily without equipping our hospitals and healthcare staff with the necessary resources to fight the pandemic. The Pakistani healthcare sector has always remained in shambles but this is the most critical situation that demands steadfast resolve of the whole nation to fight it out and contain the spread of the virus. Only sufficient resources and proper arrangements will ensure the safety of our people.

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