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April 7, 2020

Coronavirus claims first doctor’s life in Sindh

Karachi

April 7, 2020

Coronavirus claimed the life of the first physician in Sindh when an eminent healthcare provider, Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro, passed away at the isolation centre of the Indus Hospital Karachi on Monday evening, his family members and colleagues said.

“Eminent physician and the current medical superintendent of the Alkhidmat Hospital Tharparkar, Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro, passed away this evening at the Indus Hospital Karachi. He had been on life support for the last several days after being infected with coronavirus,” said Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) Karachi President Dr Azeemuddin.

Expressing his profound sorrow and grief over the sad demise of the physician, the PIMA official said Dr Soomro contracted coronavirus while treating his patients in the Gulsahn-e-Hadeed locality of the city, and when his condition deteriorated, he approached the Indus Hospital Karachi where he tested positive for the viral ailment and was admitted to the isolation ward.

“At the start of this month, his condition deteriorated further and he was put on life support. He remained on ventilator for four to five days, and despite the prayers of his loved ones and thousands of well-wishers, he expired this evening,” Dr Azeemuddin said. This is the first death of any physician in the Sindh province due to COVID-19, PIMA officials said, although the health department and the government had yet to announce his death formally.

With the demise of Dr Soomro, the total number of deaths due to coronavirus in Sindh rose to 18, health department officials said but added that a formal announcement in this regard would be made on Tuesday.

“Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro was born on 1st February 1956 in the Shikarpur district of Sindh and did his MBBS from the Chandka Medical College Larkana. After specialisation in dermatology, he started practising in the province, and during his entire life, he served suffering humanity,” said Dr Abdul Malik, a neurologist and close associate of Dr Soomro.

Dr Malik said Dr Soomro was a former chief medical officer (CMO) of the Pakistan Steel Mills, but most importantly, he was a visionary who helped with the establishment of several charity health facilities in Sindh, including the Alkhidmat Hospital Tharparkar and Farida Yaqoob Alkhidmat Hospital in Gulshan-e-Hadeed, and as well as those in Malir.

“Dr Soomro was a well-known physician and he was known for his love for humanity. Anybody could go to his clinic and once the patient said he couldn’t pay, Dr Soomro would not charge his fee but used to provide medicines to needy and deserving people also,” he added.

Another physician, Dr Fayyaz Alam, said Dr Soomro was a former Nazim of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) Sindh and served as PIMA Sindh president also. The late doctor believed in serving humanity and even in the last days of life he was serving ailing humanity.

“Dr Soomro could have closed down his clinic due to fear of coronavirus, but he believed in serving people. He used to say, ‘where would these people go who come from villages and don’t have the telemedicine facility’,” Dr Alam said and added that hundreds of people from the entire world was mourning the death of Dr Soomro.