The novel coronavirus has infected 1,904 healthcare workers in Pakistan and 17 have died since the outbreak first emerged, official data reveals.
The new data provides sobering evidence that doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare providers are working in high risk areas without adequate protection gear.
In Sindh, 538 healthcare professional have tested positive for the coronavirus, and eight have died, a report by the ministry of national health services dated May 29 states.
Similarly, in Punjab, 341 healthcare workers have been infected to date. There have been no deaths in the healthcare sector. However, the Punjab chapter of the Young Doctors Association, the largest union of doctors in the country, told Geo.tv that seven healthcare professional have died in the province.
In Balochistan, 237 have been infected and two have died, as per official data. Although, the director general health in the province told Geo.tv that seven healthcare providers have died and 280 are infected.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the largest majority, 552, have tested positive while four have died.
Separately, 42 healthcare providers have contracted the virus in Gilgit Baltistan, while two have died. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, nine have been infected. There have been no deaths reported so far.
In Islamabad, 185 medics have the virus. While one death has been reported from the capital city.
Pakistan reported its first doctors to have died from the deadly virus in March, from the northern Gilgit Baltistan. The 26-year-old Dr. Usama Riaz contracted the coronavirus while screening pilgrims returning from Iran.
Since then, doctors who are on the frontline in Pakistan has made repeated requests for personal protection equipment (PPEs) and other safety gear to shield them from the disease. In a series of press conference earlier this month, they have also appealed to the government to reconsider its decision to ease the lockdown country-wide lockdown.
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