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April 5, 2020

Physician Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro battling for life after contracting coronavirus

Karachi

April 5, 2020

A former chief medical officer (CMO) of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSMs), Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro, who is a well-known skin specialist of the country, is battling for life at the Indus Hospital Karachi after he tested positive for the coronavirus, health officials said on Saturday.

So far, around a dozen doctors and healthcare workers from different health facilities in Karachi have tested positive for coronavirus in Sindh, but Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro is the only physician who has become so much sick that he had to be put on life support, health officials said.

“Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro had been feeling sick for the last one week, and a few days back when his condition deteriorated, he approached the Indus Hospital and the physicians asked him to get admitted. He tested positive for coronavirus. On Thursday, his condition deteriorated, on which he has been put on life support," an official of the Indus Hospital said.

The health official said that probably Dr Soomro, who is a well-know physician and skin specialist, contracted the viral infection from any of his patients in Gulshan-e-Hadeed, where so far three patients had tested positive for coronavirus.

“At the moment, Dr Soomro is being provided best possible treatment while we are also trying various approaches as per WHO guidelines, and on the basis of the options used by the Chinese experts to treat Dr Soomro. Thousands of people are praying for his well-being and we hope that he would recover from this ailment."

Several physicians and healthcare providers at Karachi’s two private hospitals as well as some public health facilities in Hyderabad have contracted the disease, while dozens of doctors and paramedics from different health facilities have been quarantined for treating and getting into contact with the suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients in the province.

Doctors at various public and private hospitals are alleging that they are not being provided personal protective equipment (PPE), full body protective suits, face shields and hand sanitisers by the hospital administrations, putting them at the risk of contracting the extremely contagious disease.

On the other hand, health officials in Sindh claimed that several doctors were putting themselves at risk of contracting the coronavirus by conducting OPDs and examining patients without having PPEs, saying that due to an extreme shortage of the personal protective equipment, it was only being provided to the staff at the isolation centres and the emergencies of the hospitals.

Fearing the further spread of coronavirus in the area of Gulshan-e-Hadeed in the Malir district after Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro and three other persons tested positive, the health department has placed a ban on conducting OPDs at all the hospitals and clinics in the area.

A notification issued by the district health officer of Malir said that a complete ban had been imposed on OPDs at all the hospitals in Gulshan-e-Hadeed, but emergencies at the hospitals would remain open and staff of all the health facilities would remain present for their duties.