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Sunday Apr 26 2020
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92 health professionals test positive for coronavirus in just two days

A doctor and nurse wear protective masks as they stand in a passenger train's car, after the government turned it into a hospital and quarantine center following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Karachi, Pakistan, March 31, 2020. Photo: Reuters

At least 92 health professionals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus across the country in the last two days, increasing the number of infected doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff to 345, reported The News on Sunday.

According to a national health ministry official, the number increased to 345 from 253 on Thursday after new cases were detected among the medical community. The official said doctors are the most affected class of healthcare professionals when it comes to the infections with over 165 doctors across the country under treatment for the virus. 131 paramedical and support staff, as well as 41 nurses, have also contracted the virus.

Apart from the confirmed cases, more than 1,500 doctors, nurses, paramedics and those with whom they came into contact are in quarantine. “Many are waiting for their test results after coming into contact with the health professionals who have already tested positive,” the official added.

Read also: Senior Peshawar doctor loses battle against coronavirus

The official added that most of the cases of coronavirus among health professionals have been reported from Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, while a few cases have also been reported from Sindh and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The virus has already claimed the lives of four health professionals in the country so far. ENT specialist Professor Muhammad Javed passed away on Saturday at Peshawar’s Hayatabad Medical Complex. Three other healthcare workers, who died of coronavirus include Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro from Karachi, Dr Osama Riaz from Gilgit-Baltistan and a senior nurse at Gujrat’s Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Hospital.

Giving a breakdown of the health professionals afflicted with the novel coronavirus, the health ministry official said 93 have been infected in Punjab of which 55 are doctors, 16 nurses and 22 paramedics and support staff.

The official added the Nishtar Medical Hospital in Multan and the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore were the worst affected health facilities in Punjab, as most of the infected health professionals in that province worked at those two facilities.

Read also: UN launches international push for vaccine to defeat virus pandemic

They also said that 72 health professionals have been found infected with COVID-19 in Sindh; 28 doctors, 17 nurses and 27 paramedics and support staff adding that most of the affected work at various public and private hospitals in Karachi.

The officials further said doctors, nurses and paramedics at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Civil Hospital Karachi, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Accident Emergency & Trauma Centre, Indus Hospital, Ojha Campus of the Dow University of Health Sciences, Aga Khan University Hospital and Liaquat National Hospital have also been found infected with the virus.

Moreover, 72 health professionals are infected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP); 35 doctors, six nurses and 31 paramedics and support staff.

Officials added that most of the COVID-19 cases in KP were from the Hayatabad Medical Complex, Lady Reading Hospital and Khyber Teaching Hospital, while some cases have also been reported from Abbottabad and other cities of the province.

The officials further said 55 health professionals have been found infected with coronavirus in Balochistan; 32 doctors, three nurses and 20 paramedics and support staff adding that most of the affected were from the Bolan Medical Complex and the Civil Hospital Quetta.

Thirty-two health professionals, mostly from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and Poly Clinic Islamabad, have been found infected with COVID-19 in the ICT, which include 13 doctors, seven nurses and 12 paramedics and support staff.

Most of the health professionals infected with the virus in the GB region include paramedics and support staff, whose number is 16, while the only doctor who was found infected died during the treatment, officials said, adding “in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, four health professionals — one doctor and three paramedical staff members — have been found infected with the novel coronavirus.”

Originally published in The News