Doctor from Gilgit Baltistan infected by coronavirus fighting for life after govt fails to provide safety suit

In an unfortunate development, a young doctor who was on duty of screening pilgrims arriving from Iran and other pilgrims coming into Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is in critical condition after being infected by the coronavirus.
According to the details, Dr Usama Riaz, who hails from Chilas of Diamer district in GB, was admitted in Gilgit District Headquarter Hospital on Friday night after falling unconscious and is presently fighting for his life on a ventilator.
Addressing a press conference in Gilgit on Saturday, the office bearers of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) informed that the said doctor had tested positive for the novel virus. Gilgit Director Health Dr Iqbal Rasool also confirmed the report.
They blamed the lack of facilities and the government’s negligence for Dr Usama’s condition, emphasising that he could have saved himself had he been provided with the required medical equipment like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kits specific to coronavirus.
It was stated that a medical board has been constituted for deciding Dr Usama’s fate after consultation with his family as his condition was very critical. It may be mentioned here that the affected doctor cannot be moved to another hospital due to his condition.
According to PMA representatives, Dr Usama is the first Pakistani doctor who got affected by coronavirus after dealing with suspected patients. “Dr Usama should be declared a national hero for his bravery against fighting the coronavirus,” they said.
Meanwhile, with the confirmation of 25 new cases of coronavirus patients in GB, the total number of corona affected patients in the region increased to 56 on Saturday. While those who tested positive were shifted to isolation wards, GB Law Minister Aurangzeb Khan said that more tests of pilgrims were still awaited as the regional government lacks enough testing facilities.

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