Saudi Arabia honors Pakistani doctor for role in COVID-19 fight

1 / 3
Dr. Shahzad Ahmad Mumtaz, head of the Intensive Care Unit at the King Salman Hospital in Riyadh, can be seen with his colleagues holding a certificate of appreciation on Sept. 23. (Photo courtesy: Dr. Shahzad Ahmad Mumtaz)
2 / 3
3 / 3
Short Url
Updated 26 September 2020

Saudi Arabia honors Pakistani doctor for role in COVID-19 fight

  • Dr. Mumtaz’s efforts not only reduced virus mortality rate at King Salman Hospital but also turned it into the first green medical facility

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani doctor has been recognized by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health for his services as a team leader in the Kingdom’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“In recognition of my services as head of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the King Salman Hospital, I was given a leadership award and an appreciation certificate by the Saudi health ministry,” Dr. Shahzad Ahmad Mumtaz told Arab News during a phone interview from Riyadh on Saturday. He was presented with the award during a ceremony to mark Saudi National Day on Sept. 23.

Hailing from Layyah, a small city in southern Punjab, Mumtaz has been working in Saudi Arabia for the last 18 years. Before his appointment at the King Salman Hospital, he worked as a director at the King Saud Medical City. He also served as an ICU head at Al-Noor Specialist Hospital, Makkah, and Jabal Al-Rahmah Hospital, Arafat.

“At the outset of the pandemic, the COVID-19 mortality rate was very high at the King Salman Hospital. That is the reason why I was brought here as the ICU head — to increase the hospital’s capacity to deal with the challenges posed by the pandemic,” he said.




Dr. Shahzad Ahmad Mumtaz is sitting in his office at the King Salman Hospital in Riyadh. (Photo courtesy: Dr. Shahzad Ahmad Mumtaz) 

Mumtaz said that he succeeded in bringing down these deaths by 10 percent during the last five months, due to better team management and greater use of modern techniques and technology.

“The mortality rate related to COVID-19 in international ICUs is around 30 percent, since very critical patients are shifted to these units. The ICU at the King Salman Hospital has remained under 10 percent during the last five months,” he said.

“During all this time, I have not taken a single leave and have worked for 18-20 hours a day,” he continued.

“After joining, I immediately expanded the ICU from 14 to 60 beds. We used the helmet technology that is mostly preferred in Spain and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which is recommended by Americans. They both produced impressive results in our hospital during the pandemic,” he said.




Dr. Shahzad Ahmad Mumtaz is doing a morning round with members of his Intensive Care Unit team at the King Salman Hospital in Riyadh on Aug. 18. (Photo courtesy: Dr. Shahzad Ahmad Mumtaz) 

Mumtaz said that the King Salman Hospital was converted into a non-COVID-19, green hospital on Sept. 1.

“We received a lot of appreciation from the Saudi health ministry,” he added.

“It helped in the surgical treatment of general patients, which had to be stopped due to the influx of COVID-19 patients.”

The Kingdom recorded a significant drop in COVID-19 cases and related deaths in the last few days. The total number of recoveries in Saudi Arabia increased to 315,636 after 843 more patients recently recovered from the virus.

Meanwhile, 4,625 people have also succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Related


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

  • COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.