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Sunday May 31 2020

Twin cities' senior doctors alarmed as coronavirus cases surge among healthcare workers

Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Senior doctors from a couple of major public sector healthcare facilities in the twin cities have voiced their deep concerns over the 'casual attitude' of the federal and provincial government towards more and more healthcare workers contracting the coronavirus with each passing day. 

Deputy Director at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Dr Waseem Ahmed Khawaja, who himself had tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks back, informed The News on Saturday that around 90 staff members at PIMS, including 49 doctors, have already been tested positive for COVID-19. He said the situation is becoming more and more alarming after a continuous rise in the number of healthcare workers contracting disease.

Head of Pathology Department at PIMS Professor Ashok Tanwani, sharing information with The News, revealed that almost all these staff members including the 49 doctors were serving general patients and those admitted in wards other than the corona isolation ward.

This shows how much the general population has been exposed to the coronavirus and they are carriers causing transmission of the disease to healthcare workers, said Dr Ashok.

According to Dr Ashok, these healthcare workers are then a hazard for their patients as well as to their families. He said that doctors were falling from the wall between the coronavirus and the general population and that wall, one day, will come down brick by brick as the dengue infection was continuing to rise as well. The havoc it will cause will be indescribable, he said.

He added that our general population and government are displaying a careless attitude towards the problem. Mortality has hit a record high till now with ventilators being scarce, he said. Dr Ashok requested people to behave responsibly and impose a lockdown on themselves to avoid further spreading the virus.

It is important that well over 100 healthcare workers, including a number of senior doctors, have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 in Rawalpindi as well. The Head of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Holy Family Hospital Professor Dr. Rizwana Chaudhary and her husband Professor Muttiullah have also tested positive for the disease.

A number of senior health professionals are now actively involved in creating awareness among the general public on how to avoid COVID-19 and what is needed to control its spread.

They believe that individuals must take preventive measures and the government should provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers. According to Professor Ashok, social distancing is necessary along with frequent hand washing and the use of sensitizers and masks.

Further awareness should be created through social media and the government should take more serious actions for a smart lockdown, he said.

Originally published in The News