Pakistan has lost 42 doctors so far to COVID-19, confirm govt officials


ISLAMABAD: Doctors remain the most affected among healthcare providers in Pakistan from COVID-19, with officials confirming 42 have died so far battling the pandemic. 

“We have so far lost the lives of 58 healthcare providers to COVID-19 in the country and still counting. They are 42 doctors, 13 paramedics and other support staff, two nurses and one medical student. At the moment, 240 healthcare providers are hospitalised, of whom 231 are in a stable condition, while nine are on life support,” an official of the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C) told The News on Wednesday.

The official said Sindh was the worst-hit province with respect to the deaths of healthcare providers, where 22 healthcare providers had lost their lives, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where 11 healthcare providers had died, 10 in Punjab, seven in Balochistan, five in Islamabad and three in Gilgit-Baltistan. Luckily, no healthcare provider has died in Azad Kashmir.

The official said that by June 30, as many as 5,367 healthcare providers had contracted the viral infection, which was 3% of the national count of coronavirus patients in Pakistan. He noted that 2,798 had been cured, which was 52% of the total cases, but 2,569 or 48% of healthcare providers were still under treatment at hospitals or were in self-isolation at their homes.

“Doctors are the most affected segment of healthcare providers as 61% or 3,275 of them have so far contracted the viral infection, followed by 1,453 paramedics, which are 27% of the total healthcare providers infected with the lethal virus. Around 639 nurses are also among them, which is 12% of the total cases,” the health ministry official said.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the worst affected province with respect to infected healthcare providers, where 1,809 healthcare providers — 856 doctors, 282 nurses and 671 other support staff including paramedics — have contracted the disease. “Fortunately, only 11 healthcare providers have died at KP so far while 14 are still hospitalised,” the official added.

In Sindh, 1,397 healthcare providers, including 1034 doctors, had contracted the viral ailment, the official said, adding that 121 nurses and 242 paramedics and other support staff had also been diagnosed with the coronavirus. “Sindh has lost 22 healthcare providers, mostly doctors, while 59 are hospitalised, of whom three are on life support.”

Around 1,100 healthcare providers had so far been infected with the coronavirus in Punjab, of whom 625 are doctors, 168 nurses and 307 paramedics and other support staff, the official said, adding that Punjab had lost 10 healthcare providers, 118 were still hospitalized, while two were on ventilators.

In Balochistan, 422 healthcare providers have tested positive for the viral infection. Of theses patients, 345 are doctors, eight nurses and 69 paramedics and other support staff, according to the official. He said seven healthcare providers had lost their lives in the province, while four were on life support.

In Islamabad, 451 healthcare providers have tested positive for the COVID-19, of whom 315 are doctors, 51 nurses and 85 are paramedics and other support staff. Five healthcare providers have lost their lives to the disease in Islamabad so far. At the moment, only three healthcare providers were hospitalized and they were in a stable condition, the official added.

Some 105 healthcare workers have become infected with the coronavirus in Gilgit-Baltistan. Of them, 55 are doctors, two nurses and 48 paramedics and other support staff. Three of them have died, while six are in hospital in a stable condition.

“In Azad Kashmir, 83 healthcare providers have contracted the disease so far, of whom 45 are doctors, seven are nurses and 31 are paramedics. No loss of life has so far been reported from AJK,” the official added.

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