KPK hospitals- 50 doctors and health workers infected with coronavirus

Senior doctor in KPK lost life fighting against coronavirus

Senior doctor Dr Mohammad Javed working at Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar lost life due to health complications caused by the coronavirus. He was infected with coronavirus a week ago while treating the infected patients. Dr. Javed was kept on a ventilator when his condition deteriorated, however, he could not survive. He was an E&T specialist.
Doctors are frontline fighters against the coronavirus epidemic. They are fighting this battle putting their lives at stake. But the doctors-paramedics-nurses and other health staff need proper protective gears and equipment to not only save lives of other people but to protect themselves. Doctors and health staff are complaining the non- availability of protective gears-masks and other necessary equipment.
There is no doubt that doctors and health workers are our real heroes. It is important to provide whatever our heroes needs in this fight against coronavirus. We cannot send our soldiers to fight a war without providing them guns-bullets and ammunition. Same applies to the doctors and health workers.   The fight against coronavirus could not be won without doctors-nurses and other health workers. They need PPEs and other equipment to protect them.
The situation seems alarming in KPK as far as doctors-nurses and paramedics are concerned.   On April 23, a report revealed that 30 health workers, including doctors, were infected with the coronavirus in KP. The 14 doctors, 05 paramedics, and 11 other health professionals have been infected with COVID-19 virus. While the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Provincial Doctors Association has put the number at 50 including 20 doctors. This is alarming situation and needs  proper attention of the KPK provincial government. 
The spokesperson of Lady Reading hospital in Peshawar has confirmed that two female doctors in hospital have been infected with the coronavirus. Both the doctors have been shifted to quarantine ward.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has recorded more than 1,700 cases of the coronavirus so far, with 89 deaths — the highest number of deaths across Pakistan. Doctors and medical staff have repeatedly urged the government to enforce stricter lockdown measures and to provide them with the appropriate safety gear in the fight against the coronavirus.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Provincial Doctors Association has strongly recommended a complete lockdown in the province and separate hospitals at divisional level for those infected to contain the spread of the virus and manage active patients effectively.
Dr Amir Taj Khan, president of the provincial doctor's association, demanded a complete lockdown to enable people to stay home and enforce social distancing or else he warned the health system would collapse and all health workers would end up infected, leaving patients in lurch.
“More than 50 health workers, including 20 doctors, have tested positive for Covid-19 because of the arrival of all patients to hospitals. It would be most appropriate to have separate wards for suspected and active patients as well as quarantine centres away from the hospitals, not only to ensure their best management but to safeguard our people and health professionals from being infected.”
KPK government and PTI leaders including PM Imran Khan always praised the reforms and improvements made in the health sector. But numbers are telling different story. KPK government should come out of denial mode and immediately take measures to address the issues. The KPK government needs to provide PPEs to doctors and also take the precautionary measures suggested by doctors and health experts. 
                                                     Khalid Bhatti 


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