Lahore’s corona field hospital is now empty

By: News Desk      Published: 12:32 PM, 11 Jul, 2020
Lahore’s corona field hospital is now empty
File photo.

The field hospital established at Expo Centre, Lahore, amid the coronavirus pandemic is now empty after the last four patients were discharged, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Saturday.

But the 1,000-bed temporary health facility launched at the cost Rs900 million continues to incur expenditure like salaries and administrative affairs. However, the Punjab government has decided to keep the field hospital running for another two months.

Meanwhile, how one can forget the Rs550 million rent to be paid by the government despite the fact that Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid’s claim that there is no such thing and the bill was sent mistakenly.

24NewsHD in an earlier report aired on May 7 had said that the Rs900 million facility lacks even basic amenities and services.

There are no proper washrooms or meals for the people admitted in the temporary health facility for the coronavirus patients.

One can imagine the situation by the fact that doctors and consultants are not ready to even check the patients who have to walk one kilometre to reach the washrooms.

In this scenario, it was natural for the helpless and ignored patients to stage a protest on a regular basis.

At that time, 427 coronavirus patients were admitted in this field hospital which was also visited by Prime Minister Imran Khan in early April in much fanfare.

If we look at the expenditure, an amount of Rs45 million was spent on erecting partition at the 1,000-bed facility with another Rs25 million on purchasing beds and Rs190 million on medical equipment.

Meanwhile, Rs900 million isn’t a onetime expenditure, as the monthly expenses allocated under different heads include Rs330 million on medicines, Rs130 million salaries and Rs180 million on operational cost.

The details of the staff deputed at the field hospital is: medical officers 413, consultants 208, physiotherapists four, nurse 882, ward attendants 190 and sweepers 190.

So it isn’t a surprise that the coronavirus patients started avoiding this health facility as reported by 24NewsHD on July 1, making it a complete failure and a white elephant.

From 427 patients on May 7 to only eight on July 1, it reflected the fact that the services and facilities provided there have been pathetic to say the least.

“Sources say the coronavirus patients are not ready to get admitted there as there is no service or facility. The situation can be gauged from the fact that there have been less than 100 patients at this field hospital during the last one-and-a-half month,” it was said in that report.