Data Shows Pakistan Has Milder Form of COVID-19

The current data on COVID-19 cases and the resultant deaths suggests that Pakistan is facing a milder form of the disease, the medical director of the Liaquat National Hospital (LNH) told The News on Wednesday.

Dr Salman Faridi said that compared to other countries like Italy, the UK and the US, Pakistan not only has a low mortality rate but also a lower number of critically ill patients, as fewer people are on life support.

The eminent surgeon said that it appears Pakistan has a less virulent strain of the novel coronavirus. “There is a need to capitalise on this situation by improving our treatment facilities, and ensuring close coordination, monitoring, and availability of the latest anti-viral and other supportive drugs to further reduce mortality.”

Deploring the fact that no integrated plan has been devised in the country, including Sindh, to manage the pandemic, Dr Faridi suggested creating a dashboard comprising information on all the facilities available for the treatment of COVID-19 in the province.

He said the dashboard should provide information on the number of available beds in high dependency units (HDUs) and intensive care units (ICUs) as well as the availability of ventilators and other facilities to effectively deal with the health emergency.

“After the death of Dr Furqan-ul-Haq, who went from one hospital to another in search of a bed in the COVID-19 ward, there’s an urgent need for a live dashboard or portal.”

He pointed out that a dashboard would help the hospitals treating coronavirus patients to stay aware of the situation at one other’s COVID-19 wards, so the seriously ill patients could be directed to the health facilities where HDUs, ICUs, beds or ventilators are available.

He said that there should also be a universal access number accessible across the province for calling an ambulance or help in case of an emergency.

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