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Pakistan

Spread of coronavirus Delta variant reaches alarming level in Karachi

  • Hospitals reaching capacity as positivity rate in Pakistan's largest city crosses 25%
Published July 20, 2021
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The spread of the coronavirus Delta variant is reaching alarming levels in Karachi, with hospitals reaching capacity and reportedly refusing additional patients.

On Monday, the Sindh government announced that the Covid-19 situation in the city is alarming, and warned people that ignoring precautionary measures during the three-day Eid break could make matters potentially worse.

In the last 24 hours, the Covid-19 positivity rate in Karachi increased to 25.7 percent, which is nearly five times the national positivity rate of 5.25 percent.

"Government hospitals have reached saturation point, something not witnessed during previous waves, and even some private hospitals are refusing patients," said Dr Qaiser Sajjad, secretary general of the Pakistan Medical Association.

"God have mercy on us as people are not taking this pandemic seriously. Such irresponsible behaviour on the Eid festival will make matters worse," Sajjad told Reuters.

As people travel from major metropolitan centers like Karachi to their home towns during the holiday period, the Delta variant is expected to spread.

According to the Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Karachi, there is a 92.2 percent prevalence of the Delta variant in Karachi.

According to Dr. Seemin Jamali, Executive Director of the Jinnah Hospital - the largest in Karachi - 77 out of 90 beds reserved for coronavirus patients have been occupied, with additional beds being added to cater to the late surge in cases.

Jamali mentioned that “We did not face such a capacity situation during previous waves", adding that "the situation is getting pretty bad".

Last week, Pakistan’s planning minister Asad Umar, stated that hospitals were seeing a rapid influx of coronavirus patients, warning of a fourth wave if precautionary measures were not followed.

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