PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Seven patients being treated for the coronavirus died after one of the largest hospitals in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar ran out of oxygen supplies, officials said Sunday.
Farhad Khan, a spokesman at Khyber Teaching Hospital, said the patients died Saturday night when the vendor who supplies the hospital with medical oxygen to refill tanks failed to arrive in time. The hospital, the second largest in Peshawar, receives its oxygen cylinders from a vendor in Rawalpindi, a city about 118 miles away, Khan said.
Provincial Health Minister Taimur Saim Jhagra tweeted about the incident, saying the hospital’s board of governors has been ordered to complete an investigation into the deaths and take action within 48 hours against those responsible. He promised that “all facts of the case will be made public.”
Pakistan, a country of around 220 million people, has recorded 58 COVID-19 deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths from the virus to 8,361. The number of total confirmed cases in Pakistan stands at nearly 416,500.
That number, like other places around the world, is likely somewhat higher due to limited testing. Pakistan has tested around 5.8 million people for the virus, or about 2.6% of the population.