In a shocking incident on Monday, 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.
The whole world is saluting the doctors for their contribution & fight against corona. In Quetta, Pakistan, they r tortured, arrested & humiliated jst 4 demanding protection kits. #Sharmnak@mazdaki @GulBukhari pic.twitter.com/TD0YO4FAW5— Zarak khan (@zarak_khaan) April 6, 2020
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.
The protest took place took place at the backdrop of a severe shortage of safety equipment in the country, coupled with the case of 13 doctors who had been diagnosed with the Chinese virus. In March, a doctor and a nurse reportedly died are testing positive for the Chinese virus. The President of the Doctor’s Association in Quetta, Yasir Achakzai, revealed how the Pakistani government was flouting the official guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) meant for protecting doctors and other medical staff.
The spokesperson of the provincial Government, Liaqat Shehwani, however, alleged, “We had assured them that the PPE would be provided soon but they started the protest.” According to the Ministry of Health, the Wuhan Coronavirus had infected 3,277 people and claimed 50 lives in Pakistan so far.
Earlier, a series of videos posted by Pakistani citizens who were quarantined at Taftan camp on the border with Iran had gone viral which showed filthy, overcrowded camps. Videos circulating on social media showed people sleeping on floors and in corridors and packed into tents erected in a dirty courtyard. Moreover, the Pakistan government had made no attempts to separate sick pilgrims from the healthy.