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40pc healthcare providers infected with coronavirus, claims YDA


June 7, 2020

LAHORE : The Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab, has said that at least 40 per cent tests of healthcare providers have been confirmed positive during tests of the doctors, nurses and paramedics in hospitals in the province.

“While the pandemic stares in the face, the morale of healthcare providers has hit the rock bottom after 2,500 doctors, nurses and paramedics have contracted the virus and 34 of them have succumbed to the disease,” said Dr Salman Haseeb Chaudhry, YDA Punjab resident, while speaking at a press conference on Saturday.

When soldiers are wounded in the battlefield they have exclusive hospitals for treatment, but the medical professionals – the frontline soldiers in the fight against coronavirus – have no separate facility for treatment after contracting infection.

Dr Salman Haseeb expressed grave concern over the dearth of health facilities for Covid-19 patients in hospitals of Punjab while coronavirus curve continues upward trajectory in the province. He confirmed that dedicated Covid-19 beds and ventilators have filled to capacity.

Initially, he said, the people followed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which helped prevent rapid spread of virus, but government’s consistently changing policies have confused the people and hence they have stopped following the SOPs.

“While we wish to support Prime Minister Imran Khan’s slogan of ‘not to panic’ but the government hasn’t done anything to assist public in this regard,” he said, adding that the people in Punjab and all over Pakistan are not taking coronavirus seriously.

He said that the government has not set up any dedicated testing services in hospitals in order to help common people get their tests for coronavirus. He also criticised the government for delay of up to seven days in delivery of test reports to the patients.

He informed that Actemra – interleukin-6 inhibitor with generic name of Tocilizumab – an immune-suppressant, seems to give positive result in the treatment of serious Covid-19 patients, but the medicine had not been supplied in hospitals for the last one week. Besides, he said, the plasma therapy has also shown positive result, but the government lacked any effective policy in this regard too. He said that the status of all doctors and government employees in hospitals would be converted to private with a single stroke of pen after implementation of Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Act 2019. “The government wants to implement MTI Act in the cover of coronavirus crisis in the country,” he added.

“The doctors who were hired during Covid-19 crisis have not been given salary up till now,” he said, adding that more than Rs 30,000 were being deducted from doctors’ salaries as well.

He also said, “Lockdown has been completely opened but as we approached courts for redress of our grievances, the courts were closed. “If entire Punjab has been opened, the courts should also be opened for dispensation of justice to the people,” he added.

poultry: University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad has said that poultry, poultry products and other livestock products are absolutely safe and they have no link to the coronavirus.

In a press release, UVAS Focal Person on Corona Prof Dr Tahir Yaqub also said that on the basis of scientific evidence throughout the world, it was declared that poultry was neither affected nor a source or carrier of the virus causing Covid-19. He said the poultry industry was providing livelihood to more than 1.5 million people in the country and the fake propaganda against poultry was a systematic effort to damage the poultry sector and taking away from the masses the cheapest source of protein which was essential for their immune system in the fight against Covid -19.