Pakistani doctors have cautioned of appalling state of affairs on the frontlines of the country’s covid-19 wave, describing the pandemic as fatal and accusing police of brutally suppressing remonstration over working conditions.
Last Monday Dr Amanullah, and his colleagues protested against lack of PPE, personal protective equipment were beaten and humiliated by the police. They were shocked when sticks and butts of AK-47 rifles rained down on them, and then they were dragged through the street and thrown into trucks, about 60 other doctors were detained overnight and released on Tuesday.
In the hospital where Dr Amanullah works, 16 doctors, along with the head of cardiology, have already been detected with Covid-19, and the patients they had treated for non-corona virus issues have since tested positive for the virus, the situation is insane, instead of curing the people they have no clue how many people they have infected or will be infecting, under the present condition.
Conditions are deplorable, in Balochistan, which is the focus of the virus outbreak, has only 19 ventilator, however apart from absence of medical facilities the discord among federal & provincial government and the military, which wields immense clout appears to be the biggest hurdle in the fight against the pandemic.
On 23 March, prime minister, Imran Khan decided not to implement a national lockdown since it will impact the poor, but just hours later, Murad Ali Shah, chief minister of Sindh , declared a full 15-day lockdown in the state, which the military supported, ignoring the prime minister’s decision, however, Dr Zafar Mirza, special assistant on health to the prime minister, Imran Khan, defended the evident inconsistencies by calling it, a differences of approach.”
Khan has also been criticized for his recent public remarks, that corona virus has a low mortality rate, and not dangerous to young or vigorous people, and because Khan is not taking it seriously: the public and his followers are not taking it sincerely too. Underplaying the impact of the virus, resulted in incidents such as last Friday, when thousands of people across Pakistan defied restrictions and social distancing to attend prayers.
Lack of equipment, dysfunctional administration and contradictory messages are not only impeding the doctor’s efforts against covid-19, but also ushering in a looming catastrophe.