COVID-19: Doctors protest in PoK as govt fails to provide PPE kits


Muzaffarabad: Doctors and paramedic staff in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) are protesting as they fear getting infected while treating COVID-19 patients because of lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits. 

At Ambor hospital in Muzaffarabad, the doctors and other employees said they are being pushed towards death by the government as they have been working without safety kits.

A protesting staff member said, “There are just 40 staff members in Ambor hospital, including doctors, paramedics, sweepers, and guards. Can’t you provide PPE to 40 people? Do we have such a degraded system? A total of 40 people are running this hospital and you are not in a position to provide us safety kits. We will wash and reuse it.”

Pakistan occupied Kashmir has poor healthcare system and it is completely unprepared to tackle a situation like the COVID-19 outbreak.

The protester added, “We are working in shifts. If the government is unable to provide 40-45 kits, then it is very unfortunate. Why have we voted them? Is it because they leave us to die?”

“We will continue to protest till we get safety kits. We are asking for basic masks, gloves, and gowns. If we don’t get even this, how can we expect to get PPE kits,” he said.

In many areas in PoK, neither doctors nor testing labs are available. Suspected coronavirus patients are roaming amid the rest of the population without being examined.

In PoK, only 745 coronavirus tests have been conducted as of now and 34 positive cases have been registered. It is believed that COVID-19 cases in the region may surge if testing facilities are improved in the region. (ANI)