National News

AKU temporarily shuts COVID screening & testing due to capacity shortage

KARACHI: The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) had dedicated its community health workers to the screening and testing of suspected patients in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This facility was functioning efficiently by providing services to hundreds of patients in a day. The AKU had to close its facilities to new patients, however, as it reached full capacity. The screening service will remain temporarily closed.

The AKUH, however, is not closed. The Emergency Department is accepting patients, but when the Emergency Department reaches its full capacity, we request patients to go to other health facilities for their own safety, noted the AKU in its statement.

The AKU will continue to cater to patients in the clinics and take care of admitted patients as well; however, non-urgent appointments and surgeries have been temporarily postponed to create space for critically ill patients.

As a Joint Commission International-accredited hospital, strict infection control practices based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines are followed. Our healthcare professionals and staff are working directly with COVID-19-infected patients and have been trained and equipped with the appropriate level of personal protective equipment.

However, despite following strict protocols, the healthcare staff can get exposed to infection. Whenever such exposure occurs, our highly trained occupational health experts conduct a thorough investigation, and healthcare staff is immediately tested and appropriately managed, whereby in the current circumstances, most results are negative.

There is no COVID-19 outbreak amongst all our doctors and nurses at the AKUH as such. The COVID-19 patients are in separate isolated areas away from other patients. The safety and security of our staff and patients remain our highest priority, the AKU noted.

Any person who feels they have COVID-19 symptoms should, before going to any hospital, call the government helpline or call our helpline 021-111911911.

-MN Report

March 25, 2020

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