Coronavirus-Infected Doctor Forced to Stay on Duty at PIMS

Should the doctors affected by the coronavirus treat the patients infected by the COVID-19 or even those who are not? Both common sense and experts say no, but it seems the administration of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad does not care about it.

Dr Sarwat is one of those who now has been locked in a room that doesn’t have basic amenities.

She said in a video message that one of her colleagues was tested positive for the virus three days ago and she had similar symptoms since then but was summoned for duty despite that.

But on Tuesday, the test report confirmed that the virus had also infected her, she added.

The administration, Dr Sarwat said, had been advised to seal the MCH (Maternal and Child Healthcare) Centre after the first doctor tested positive, but no steps were taken on the subject.

It was the management which forced her to perform duties despite having been infected by the virus, she noted and mentioned that she had been isolated in a room since the morning, which did not even have washroom.

Dr Sarwat revealed that she had requested the administration to shift her to one of the private rooms reserved for the COVID-19 patients.

She could not go to her house to keep her son and father safe, she said while appealing the administration to cooperate and allot a room to her.

A doctor who risks her life for others but the administration cannot give her a room, Dr Sarwat remarked.

After 24NewsHD TV channel air the video of Dr Sarwat, the PIMS administration swung into action and sealed the hospital’s Maternal Child Healthcare Centre. According to the administration, the MCH was sealed for one week.

So far, coronavirus has been confirmed in eight doctors and paramedical staff of the PIMS.

According to a May 4 situation report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistani doctors have emerged as the most-affected ones by coronavirus among their healthcare peers, including paramedics and nurses.

Of the 509 healthcare workers affected by the novel coronavirus, there were 263 doctors (52%), 171 paramedics (33%), and 75 nurses (15%). In total, they form almost 2.5% of Pakistan’s almost 21,000 COVID-19 cases.

Some 2,663 contacts of the healthcare workers were identified, according to the WHO, and 2,499 of them were tested for the virus. Of those who were tested, 194 were diagnosed as positive and the results of 234 were awaited.

On the other hand, 1,607 of the contacts were in quarantine; it was not clear if they were in the isolation facilities or quarantined at their respective homes.

A number of doctors and paramedical staff have been killed due to the coronavirus throughout Pakistan.

According to 24NewsHD TV channel’s report on Monday, the total number of coronavirus infected doctors in the province of KP alone have reached 89 as in the last 24 hours 14 more doctors have fell victim to the coronavirus.

The infected doctors include nine lady doctors out of which eight were on duty at Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar. While one lady and three male doctors were on duty in Bannu.

 Moreover, due to the rapid increase of corona patients in the province, the gynaecology ward at Lady Reading Hospital has been closed temporarily. The ward will be closed for two weeks from May 5 and the Dean of Lady Reading Hospital has subsequently sent a letter to the Secretary Health and has stated that most nurses and doctors of the gynecological ward have contracted coronavirus and the lives of doctors and nurses are in danger due to high positive test rates and the entire building will be quarantined for two weeks.

The doctors association has appreciated the decision regarding the closure of gynae ward.

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