QUETTA: Balochistan is not so badly affected by Covid-19 as the other provinces are because of its thin population and scattered localities, but, according to the Health Department, 51 people have so far died from Covid-19 in the province.
Former Chief Justice of Balochistan Ghulam Mustafa Mengal, his wife, three doctors, MPA Syed Fazal Agha, former minister Sardar Tareen, SP Ch Mushtaq, two senior paramedic brothers and the father of an additional secretary are among the coronavirus victims.
Lack of health facilities in government hospitals to blame for health crisis in the province. Interior Balochistan face shortage of hospitals and clinics due to which hospitals in Quetta are overburdened. Even the patients of minor of ailment are referred to the city.
There are 5,224 corona patients in the province. Around 27,301 tests were conducted and 22,940 people tested positive for the virus whereas 24,530 are corona suspects in the province while 2,021 patients defeated the infection. Areas of interior Balochistan face shortage of quality government hospitals and dispensaries due to which patients come to the provincial metropolis for their treatment. Besides Quetta, COVID-19 patients are being treated at Fatima Jinnah TB Sanatorium Chest Hospital and Sheikh Zaid Hospital in the outskirts of Quetta whereas corona tests are being conducted in Quetta and Taftan.
There are 1,062 beds in Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta where 30 virus patients are being treated. There are 14 ventilators at BMC Hospital and no patient was on the ventilator. Civil Hospital has 850 beds and 30 beds have fixed for corona patients and 26 patients are being treated for the disease in this hospital. There are 15 ventilators in Civil Hospital. There are 132 beds in Children Hospital and 12 corona patients are being treated in this hospital.
The areas in interior Balochistan do not have enough arrangements to treat corona patients. Residents of these areas are referred to Quetta. The cases of corona are increasing in Quetta and other areas of the province.
Doctors in the province are afraid of the infection and are not working. On the other hand, with the closure of OPDs in hospitals, patients are suffering a lot. People suffering from other diseases find no doctors in these hospitals and they fear, if OPDs are not opened thousands of people may die. They demanded for opening of OPDs in hospitals of the province. With the closure of OPDs, thousands of patients of other aliments are at risk of dying.