Police in Quetta arrested doctors and medical staff on Monday for protesting over non-provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for treating coronavirus patients. According to President Young Doctors Association Dr. Yasir Khan, more than 150 doctors and paramedics have been arrested.
The doctors and medical staff wanted to protest outside the Chief Minister House when the police baton-charged them. They were chanting ‘Sada Haq Aithay Rakh’ (put our rights here) near the CM house.
During the protests, police and demonstrating medical staff resorted to a clash. Following the arrests, many doctors also suspended their work.
#ProtectDoctorsOfBalochistan doctors of Balochistan are on roads to demand PPE kits. Its such a shame for CM of balochistan that he can’t provide PPE kits. Shame #lockdowneffect @jam_kamal @Senator_Baloch @sanabucha @92newschannel @PmlnMedia @pmln_org @dpr_gob @ImranKhanPTI pic.twitter.com/QpjYQYsTnc
— Fareed Agha (@iamfareedagha) April 6, 2020
Young doctors In #Quetta are arrested for staging a protest 2 demand #PPE for their own safety .this is how medical professionals fighting on the front lines against the pandemic are treated in #NayaPakistan .#ProtectOurFrontliners pic.twitter.com/H5Ip0bo9BS
— Aabida Ali ☭ (@aabidaali) April 6, 2020
Agitated young doctors protesting outside redzone #Quetta against provincial for not providing PPE kits and other facilities to doctors in hospitals. Uptill now 12 doctors and a health technician have been found #COVID19 positive #Protest #co pic.twitter.com/HOBoAXtlXr
— Zahir BaBa (@ZahirBaBa7) April 6, 2020
The protest in Quetta was staged after a dozen doctors contracted the virus reportedly while performing their duties. With their previous demands unfulfilled by the provincial government, the doctors and medical staff took their demands to the streets on Monday.
However, the police arrested some, claiming their acts to be a violation of Section 144, moreover, sending them to different police stations.
Balochistan doctors need help
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan by area with the least population. The COVID-19 pandemic has struck the province badly after the return of pilgrims from Iran. The province since then has been battling the lethal virus. Though rich in indigenous reserves, it has little resources on practical grounds.
Previously, the YDA in Balochistan had expressed its concern over the shortage of facilities for combatting the deadly virus’s outbreak.
This is Balochistan's Hospital Situation in Covid-19 Pandemic. This is the real situation where Young Drs perform their duties. Cheif Minister is misguided about the ground Situation by the looters.@jam_kamal @ZarrarKhuhro @ZiaKhanqta @LiaquatShahwani @voicepkdotnet @HamidMirPAK pic.twitter.com/Ag5SC0bIaL
— Muhabat Khan Tareen (@MuhabatKhan) March 29, 2020
As per other reports, doctors are also being neglected. The PPE is not being distributed among the front line medical staff. Despite the high claims of the government of Balochistan, the quarantine facility near Taftan and Quetta showed a dismal picture, with tents under the rain and loathsome conditions of toilets.
Contrarily to all provinces, Balochistan has the least promising medical facilities. As per the data provided by the health department, the estimated number of doctors operating in Balochistan is around 5000 to provide healthcare facilities for nearly 12 million individuals.
Undoubtedly, the infected patients in Quetta are suffering in poor conditions. Despite the promises made by the government of Balochistan, the quarantine facilities are functioning under tents and in an unsanitized state.
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