Police arrest protesting doctors and medical staff in Quetta

Muhammad Ejaz Khan

QUETTA: Police arrested doctors and medical staff in Balochistan’s capital on Monday for protesting over non-provision of Personal Protective Equipment for treating coronavirus patients.

According to President Young Doctors Association Dr Yasir Khan, more than 150 doctors and paramedics have been arrested.

The doctors and medical staff wanted to protest outside the Chief Minister House when the police baton-charged them.

Dr Khan, in a press conference, announced to boycott services to the patients. "This government wants us to work and does not provide us anything (PPE for protection against the virus)," he said.

During the protests, police and demonstrating medical staff resorted to scuffling as well.

Following the arrests, the young doctors suspended their work in protest.

Police said that the medical staff were arrested due to the violation of Section 144 and now have been sent to different police stations.

The incident came in the backdrop of more than a dozen doctors contracting the virus reportedly while discharging their duties.

Meanwhile, Balochistan government Spokesperson Liquat Shahwani said that the government has provided medical kits to the medical staff, only goggles are missing that were substituted with face shields.

He said that the required items are also in limited quantity in China, adding that whatever new supplies are received, they will be distributed among doctors and staff.

He claimed that more than 50,000 N-95 masks from NDMA have been distributed among the staff so far.

Balochistan, as of Saturday afternoon, recorded 192 cases of the coronavirus with one casualty.