A Covid-19 Surge and Conspiracy Theories Roil Pakistan
KARACHI, Pakistan — Iqbal Shaheen, a taxi driver, drove his sick father to this city’s three main hospitals. All of their intensive care beds and ventilators were occupied.
Mr. Shaheen was told there might be room at a private hospital, for $625 a day, far above what his earnings of $10 a day could cover. He took his father home to die.
“The poor cannot afford to be sick,” Mr. Shaheen said. “Without political connections, a coronavirus patient cannot get admitted at a public hospital, while paying a private hospital’s bills is unthinkable.”
As winter sets in, cold weather, pollution and public apathy to the coronavirus are weighing heavily on Pakistan’s limited health care system.