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Skardu Doctors Establish Donor-Funded ICU For Coronavirus Patients

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As Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) confirmed coronavirus cases toll has risen to 217, the doctors of the region have succeeded in establishing an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) through donations of the locals.

According to a news report published in The Express Tribune, Dr Kamran Ahmed, a consultant surgeon at the district headquarters hospital Skardu and an active member of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), said that the doctors of GB knew that they lacked the equipment to treat the infected patients, but they did not lose hope and decided to help themselves and the people of the region.

The newspaper reported that the GB doctors – within a short span of time – were able to collect Rs13.8 million. “With the help of donations, we set up an ICU and spent a handsome amount on purchase of the equipment, especially ventilators. It is the third day since ICU became operational with four ventilators in our region,” said Dr Kamal of Baltistan, where no ventilator existed till doctors purchased four from donations this month.

The five-bed ICU was set up at Abdullah Hospital, a private hospital which was taken over by the government to treat exclusively coronavirus patients till the pandemic is over.

Besides four ventilators, the doctors purchased cardiac monitors, suction machine, oxygen concentrator, defibrillator machine, ECG machine, ABGs analyser, breathing circuits with HME filters with the donation money.

According to the doctors, they direly need oxygen generation plant that costs 30 to 35 million rupees, an amount impossible to be arranged without generous support from philanthropists of Pakistan. “Without oxygen generation plant this ICU would be impossible to run in the long run,” said Dr Shafique, another front-liner fighting coronavirus in a very vulnerable region. He further said that the coronavirus cases were rising with a disproportionate number in GB comparing to other parts of the country.


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