A Pakistani doctor passed away on Sunday while testing suspected patients with coronavirus while he was found positive towards the virus. This incident at Islamabad highlights the danger to physicians who have less or no access to protection while treating the victims.
Dr. Osama Riaz was treating people who returned from Iran and thus got affected with the virus. Shah Zaman, the top health official in the country’s northern Gilgit province, officially announced the death of the doctor.
Pakistan shares borders with China and Iran, which are the two most affected countries with the coronavirus has reported 658 infected victims followed by three deaths, the highest count in South Asia. With an improper health care system and has the sixth-largest population in the world with 208 million people, Pakistan also is said to be in danger.
“We request the Pakistan government to provide us personal protection equipment immediately,” Dr. Asfandyar Khan, president staff at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, told in front of the news conference on Friday. He also said, “It is like suicide to treat the patients without protection. If infection spreads in hospitals, believe me, no person will be ready to touch any patient.” He also claimed that doctors would stop their work if the necessary essential protection is not provided to the doctors, nurses, or paramedics.
Health Minister of Pakistan, Zafar Mishra, held a meeting with the doctors on Saturday and later on tweeted that “Health workforce is my priority.” The Chief of Pakistan’s national disaster management department, Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal said that 12,500 pieces of personal equipment had been provided. His spokesman also gave the assurance that the kits had been sent to hospitals on Sunday.
The Paramedics also claimed another issue regarding the shortage of ventilators. Answering to which, Afzal replied, “We have 1,700 ventilators in public hospitals and another 600 in the private sector, and we are providing 800 more ventilators” He also said an order for 2,00,000 N95 masks and 100,000 kits for virus testing.
Dr. Osama Riaz was a 26 year old and has become the first medic to die after coming in contact with the coronavirus while treating the patients in Pakistan. He was also a part of the 10-member team of the doctors, and he was also put to treat people who just arrived from Iran and Taftan. He also provided services to people and suspected patients who are in isolation and established them from Baltistan. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Medical Association of Baltistan has accused the Government and its negligence towards the death of Riaz and asked for the provision of safety to doctors. Riaz had contracted COVID-19 due to the negligence of the Government, and its health department says the president of PMA Zulfiqar Ali and he also says that “we will again see what the issue is and if the quarantined pilgrims need to be treated they will be shifted to DHQ which means District Headquarter Hospital or the city hospital.
Dr. Osama was a young physician, and His colleagues told the news that Osama ignored his health and served the patients till late night as the patients have not been provided any services before due to the shortage of equipment and the ventilators and the place to provide the treatment to them. Commending about the young doctor who is said to be worked at an utmost dedication and perform his duty has found dead because of the virus and the lack of protection to the doctors while treating the victims affected by the coronavirus.