Irked over the acute shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the country, the Grand Health Alliance of doctors and nurses in Punjab have been protesting against the Pakistani Government since April 16.
Reportedly, 150 medics, including 160 doctors have been diagnosed with the Wuhan Coronavirus in the Islamic Republic. Moreover, the Chinese virus has claimed the life of 3 doctors. The demonstrators have demanded complete isolation of the infected medics in private hospitals, besides compulsory screening at hospitals for 7 days for doctors who are working amidst the pandemic.
Dr. Salman Haseeb who is the Chairman of the Grand Health Alliance that the protest by the doctors would continue until their demands were met. He informed that the protesting doctors would continue their agitation even throughout the month of Ramzan. “The doctors who died of coronavirus in the line of duty should be given the status of Shaheed (martyred) and their families given financial benefit”, Haseeb emphasised.
While Dr. Yasmin Rashid, Punjab Health Minister, has accused the medics of demanding hefty incentives, the Chinese virus has infected more than 12,700 people and has claimed 269 lives.
Doctors beaten and jailed in Balochistan
On April 6, over 50 doctors who were protesting in the city of Quetta in Balochistan, Pakistan against the lack of protective gear for fighting the Wuhan Coronavirus were beaten and arrested by the police. A group of 100 medics and paramedics, demanding basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and goggles, took out a rally near Quetta’s main hospital. They, then, proceeded to demonstrate outside the residence of the Chief Minister.
The cops initially resorted to lathi-charge after a few of the protestors tried to enter the CM’s residence. As such, a scuffle broke out between the health workers and the police. 53 of them were arrested and held up for hours for ‘violating the law.’ They were released only after the Balochistan provincial government stepped in.
Coronavirus in Pakistan
As per worldometers, Pakistan has reported 12,723 coronavirus cases till April 26, 2020. Of these, 2,866 have recovered while 269 have lost their lives.