The total number of COVID-19 patients in critical care is 57% higher than during the peak in June last year, but the situation has not become as dire because the government has been increasing capacity, said Planning Minister Asad Umar on Friday.
There were 5,360 patients in critical care on Thursday, he said on Twitter.
So far, the healthcare system has been able to manage because oxygen production, cylinders and beds have been increased across the country.
Total oxygen production had been increased from 487 tonnes per day to 798 tonnes. Around 19,200 oxygen cylinders were also imported last year, Umar said.
During a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre Thursday, the government had decided to import 6,000 tonnes of oxygen, 5,000 cylinders and 20 cryogenic tanks (which store liquid oxygen at low temperatures), the NCOC chief said.
Total number of critical care covid patients on oxygen reached 5360 yesterday. This is 57% more than the peak last june. Alhamdulillah have so far managed to cope with this huge increase because of proactively building capacity of the entire system from oxygen production to beds
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) April 30, 2021
On Wednesday, the NCOC directed all private and public hospitals across the country to postpone elective surgeries to preserve oxygen.
The decision was taken at a meeting held in Islamabad after a detailed analysis of oxygen demand and supply was conducted.
It was done to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen to hospitals as COVID-19 infections continue to rise, the NCOC said.
As of Friday, there are 5,360 patients in critical care and 91,547 active COVID-19 cases. More than 5,100 new cases were reported over 24 hours and 131 deaths recorded.
The country’s COVID-19 tally is 820,823, death toll 17,811 and recoveries stand at 711,465.