Delta variant cases in Karachi: Hospitals reaching capacity

KARACHI: The spread of the coronavirus Delta variant is reaching alarming levels in Karachi on the eve of the Eidul-Azha as public and some private sector hospitals are reaching capacity and have started refusing patients, medical officials said on Tuesday.

The Sindh government said on Monday that the Covid-19 situation in the city is becoming serious, and warned people that ignoring precautionary measures during the holiday could make matters worse.

During the past 24 hours, the coronavirus positivity rate in the Karachi increased to 25.7 percent, nearly five times the national rate of 5.25%.

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, people are not taking this pandemic seriously. Such irresponsible behaviour on the Eid will make matters worse,” Sajjad told Reuters.

The Delta variant could spread during the holiday as people travel from cities like Karachi to their home towns.

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

Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director of the Jinnah Hospital told Reuters that 77 out of its 90 coronavirus beds were occupied and it was planned to add more.

“We did not face such a capacity situation during previous waves,” Jamali said. “The situation is getting pretty bad.”