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115 medical personnel in LGH infected with coronavirus

National

May 30, 2020

LAHORE: The Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab, has claimed 115 medical personnel in the Lahore General Hospital have been infected with coronavirus.

“As many as 93 doctors, 12 nurses and 10 paramedics have been diagnosed with Covid-19 among 115 frontline soldiers infected in fight against coronavirus in the Lahore General Hospital and the Punjab Institute for Neurosciences,” said Dr Ammar Yousaf, president of LGH chapter of YDA Punjab, while holding a press conference on Friday.

He said 18 doctors have been affected in Medical Ward, 16 in Surgery Ward, four in Gynae Ward, 10 in Neurosurgery Ward, four in Paeds Ward, 16 in Orthopaedic Ward and 25 in other wards. Several doctors are in self-quarantine at their homes and, as a result, pose a threat to their families. Therefore, in the light of these fears, the YDA demands that a separate ward be set up for doctors in hospitals to save their families from the infection. “If separate isolation rooms are not allocated to corona-affected doctors and medical staff or international standard protective gear is not provided at any station, the young doctors will stop working immediately,” he warned.

Out of 400 doctors tested in the past few days, he said, 100 medical professionals have been confirmed as coronavirus-carrier. Dr Ammar said the mass screening of doctors in the LGH has been completed after exerting pressure on the administration, and demanded that the Punjab government conduct mass screening of medical professionals in all hospitals across Punjab.

He said Tocilizumab drug is available for Covid-19 patients in the hospital and online portal for plasma therapy has been made operational under focal person Dr Arslan Butt.

Dr Arslan Butt appealed to the recovered Covid-19 patients to donate plasma, as their donations might save the lives of other coronavirus patients. He urged the government not to open outdoor wards in view of the growing number of coronavirus cases. “If the SOPs are not implemented in OPDs, we will stop working,” he warned. He conveyed the message to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid that the coronavirus patients are deprived of beds and other facilities. He said the health minister is trying to impose the black law of MTI Act for privatization of hospitals amid coronavirus emergency to save her portfolio. “If the MTI Act is implemented in hospitals, the YDA would be forced to go on strike in this situation,” he warned.

The doctors demanded forensic audit of all procurements by the hospitals, while alleging that at least Rs 15,000 per bed is misappropriated at a 1000-bed field hospital at the Expo Centre Lahore. The first coronavirus case in Pakistan was confirmed on February 26, but no arrangements have been made for proper treatment of coronavirus patients in hospitals up till now,” he regretted.