In the time of COVID-19, there are two kinds of people — first who are rendering sacrifices in one form or another and second who are capitalising on the degenerating situation. Owners of private hospitals of Karachi, specially Aga Khan, South City and Ziauddin hospital, fall in the second type of people.
The outbreak of pandemic coronavirus has created financial crunch all over the world. Amid such a crisis, one needs help and sympathy of peer human beings, however private health facilities of the megalopolis seem to turn into mafia as they show no empathy while charging fees from coronavirus patients.
Top hospital of Karachi have allocated stunningly low number of beds for coronavirus patients with exorbitant charges.
AKU has allocated a total number of 63 beds for COVID-19 patients — 25 regular beds, 22 HDUs and 16 vents. Which is quite a low number viewing the large population of 22 million people. South City and Ziauddin hospitals have allocated even fewer beds.
However, the story gets even worse, once you find out the cost of the beds.
AKU is currently charging Rs135,000 per day for a coronavirus isolation ward bed. And over 160,000 per day for a COVID-19 vent. This does not include admission costs, which could easily add another 100,000.
Similarly, South City is charging around Rs100,000 per day for a COVID-19 bed and aboutg Rs150,000 for a COVID-19 vent. In addition, South City is demanding a minimum deposit of one million rupees, upon admission as advance payment, which would be adjusted in the bill, at the time of discharge.
The provincial and federal governments should take action against such blatant exploitation at the time when the disease is persistently plaguing the world. If the government can force schools to reduce fees, then why can it not force the private hospitals to give concession to COVID-19 patients?
The hospitals themselves need to show some leniency viewing the tough times by increasing the number of beds catering to the patients of the viral disease and cutting charges.
The emergence of 2,964 new infections over the last twenty four hours has taken the nationwide tally of coronavirus to 72,460 as on Monday morning.
26,240 cases have so far been detected in Punjab, 28,245 in Sindh, 10,027 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,393 in Balochistan, 2,589 in Islamabad, 711 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 255 in Azad Kashmir.
26,083 patients have so far recovered from the virus while the death toll stands at 1,543 with 60 deaths reported during the last twenty four hours.
Coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 373,900 lives across the world so far, with over six point two million confirmed cases.
The United States is on top of the list with 106,194 deaths followed by the Britain 38,489 and Italy with 33,415 deaths.
More than 2.8 million people have recovered from the infection.