All major public and private tertiary-care hospitals in Karachi have been placed on high alert ahead of Ashura.
The managements of the hospitals have been asked to cancel leave of doctors and paramedics, make arrangements for essential medicines and supplies and spare beds to meet any eventuality in the city till the 13th of Muharram.
Sindh health department officials said on Thursday the high alert decision was based on the advice of the police and other law enforcement agencies.
They said managements of three major hospitals—Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital – had been asked to cancel leave of doctors and paramedics, stock up essential medicines and supplies, keep operation theaters in functional condition and make 50 to 100 beds available to deal with any emergency.
Authorities said these directives had been given in view of the processions staged on Muharram 8, 9 and 10 as well as due to the presence of the Bohra community’s spiritual leader, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, who is leading Majalis of the community, in Karachi.
‘JPMC is ready’
The JPMC is ready for any eventuality as leave of all its doctors, paramedics and nursing staff have been cancelled, medicines and supplies have been arranged and ample space in two wards have reserved in case of any emergency in the city, said Dr Seemin Jamali, the executive director of the hospital.
She said that they had a meeting of the heads of the hospital’s all departments on Wednesday after police and the Sindh health department issued a high alert for the hospitals.
During the meeting, she said, all the departments were directed to remain on high alert and work in cohesion. “We have also arranged the necessary supplies, including oxygen, blood and other equipment for surgeries after we were asked by the authorities to remain on high alert. It is hoped that nothing would happen but in any case our preparations are complete.”