Karachi has reported an unusual rise in the number of deaths. Bodies are being brought to hospitals and doctors are suspecting the COVID-19 pandemic could be causing the fatalities.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan was concerned over media reports that a few hundred people have died in just one hospital in Karachi last week. He also concerned about a statement by the Edhi Welfare Trust that it has received more than 300 bodies over the last 15 days.
According to details, all of them either dead on arrival (DOA) or extremely sick with pneumonia-like symptoms. They died within hours of their arrival, a health official said in an interview. The PM has ordered a compilation of accurate data about COVID-19 patients and the number of deaths.
People are not taking preventive measures, hence they are getting infected with the virus. Some are even neglecting coronavirus symptoms until it gets worse.
Doctors believe people in the city are dying most probably due to COVID pneumonia. “The X-ray revealed a large patch on lungs, which indicates that she was suffering from some kind of lower respiratory tract illness,” a doctor said after inspecting a dead body. It was later confirmed that the patient had COVID pneumonia.
The sad part is, a majority of the bodies were neither examined nor sent for autopsy. So, the cause of death for many remains unknown.
The doctors have started noticing the unusual pattern of DOAs and near-death patients from March 31. The emergency medicine specialist said that most of the cases are between the ages of 45 to 60. More than 100 people have already died in Pakistan due to coronavirus.
Unusual increase in deaths
The Edhi Foundation has also been observing the unusual rise in deaths in the city for the past 12 days. The jump has alarmed many. It also requires a proper medical investigation to ascertain what exactly is happening in Karachi.
Faisal Edhi on Wednesday said that they had received a total of 387 bodies from different areas and hospitals for burial (from April 1 to April 13).
“Most of the victims were old with health complications such as heart problems. They could be suspected cases of COVID-19.”
Moreover, Executive Director Jinnah Postgraduate Medical College, Dr. Seemi Jamali also confirmed the increase of unusual deaths in the past few days.
Talking to ARY Jamali said, “The number of deaths has increased in Karachi as more bodies are brought to the medical facilities. But, coronavirus tests cannot be carried out on a dead.”
“Overall testing capacity of the deadly virus is low in the province. We have not been able to ascertain whether or not the patients had contracted coronavirus because relatives don’t permit autopsies,” Jamali added.
In the past 14 days, 109 people were brought into Jinnah Hospital in critical condition. Out of these, 90 people lost their lives shortly after being brought to the hospital.
Also Read: A Brief History Of Deadly Coronavirus
People are neglecting coronavirus symptoms
Why there is a rise in the number of deaths in Karachi, is something the officials must look into. However, a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases can’t be a coincidence. So what is going wrong?
Either, people are hiding the symptoms and are not getting tested or the government is showing wrong death figures. In either case, it is not a good scenario.
There is a misconception that COVID-19 is no different from common seasonal influenza. Both cause respiratory disease and are transmitted through contact, respiratory droplets and fomites. It is however different from common flu and they vary drastically in severity.
People should not ignore the symptoms and get themselves tested as soon as possible. Influenza has a shorter incubation period (the time between infection and the onset of symptoms), so it can be diagnosed and treated more quickly.
On the other hand, COVID-19 takes a lot more time to get diagnosed and get treated. So if you are having the symptoms for a longer period, you might need to see the doctor.
However, if you have the symptoms or otherwise suspect yourself of having contracted COVID-19, do not immediately go to a hospital. While this advice may sound counter-productive, but it is important to follow.
You also risk giving the virus to other people if you have it by going to a hospital. Instead, call the coronavirus helpline and give them details about your condition. They will let you know whether you need to get tested or not. Stay isolated, if you feel your condition is worsening, visit one of the designated hospitals for coronavirus.
And, DO NOT SELF MEDICATE.
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