Over 500 medical staff and 40 journalists in Pakistan have been infected by the novel coronavirus so far, according to a government report on Monday.
According to the official data, “503 medics including 250 doctors and 110 nurses contacted the deadly virus while treating COVID-19 patients in hospitals. Most of the infected medics belong to Punjab province of Pakistan.”
It said five doctors are among 13 medics who lost their lives to the virus. Dr. Furqanul Haq is the third doctor in Karachi who fell victim to the disease on Sunday. Dr. Haq allegedly died because of non-availability of ventilator. The government has announced launching investigation into the matter.
Doctors across the country have been complaining for weeks that they are not being provided with the personal protective equipment, making them vulnerable to the virus. They have also urged the federal and provincial governments to impose a strict lockdown as if the number of coronavirus patients increases manifold the country’s healthcare system cannot accommodate them.
Similarly, as many as 40 journalists have tested coronavirus positive in the country, said a government official. “Three of them have fallen victim to it”, he added.
Mohsin Naqvi, the owner of the 24 News, confirmed that more than 30 members of his staff including journalists contracted the virus. “We have decided to close down the head office from Monday onwards till further notice. We have moved all necessary operations to some other place to keep our screen up. Nearly 90 per cent of our staff will be working from home”, Naqvi said in a tweet.
The confirmed COVID-19 cases have crossed 20,000 in Pakistan with 476 deaths.