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COVID-19: Pakistani Health Workers Launch Hunger Strike Over Protective Equipment

On this handout launched by the Younger Medical doctors Affiliation (YDA) Punjab and brought on April 24, 2020, medical doctors carrying facemasks sit in throughout a starvation strike protest on the Punjab Well being Secretary in Lahore. Handout / YOUNG DOCTORS ASSOCIATION (YDA) of Pakistan / AFP


Dozens of Pakistani medical doctors and nurses have launched a starvation strike demanding ample protecting tools for frontline employees treating coronavirus sufferers, the lead organiser of the protest mentioned Saturday.

Well being employees have complained for weeks that the nation’s hospitals are struggling power shortages of security gear, prompting the arrest of greater than 50 medical doctors who known as for extra provides within the metropolis of Quetta earlier this month.

Frontline employees have been left weak, with greater than 150 medical employees testing optimistic for the virus nationwide, in line with the Younger Medical doctors’ Affiliation (YDA) in worst-hit Punjab province.

The protesters have stored working of their hospitals whereas taking turns to exhibit exterior the well being authority workplaces in provincial capital Lahore.

“We do not intend on stopping until the government listens to our demands. They have been consistently refusing to adhere to our demands,” mentioned physician Salman Haseeb.

Haseeb heads the province’s Grand Well being Alliance, which is organising the protest, and he mentioned he had not eaten since April 16.

“We are on the frontline of this virus and if we are not protected then the whole population is at risk,” he advised AFP.

The alliance mentioned about 30 medical doctors and nurses have been on starvation strike, with as much as 200 medical employees becoming a member of them every day for demonstrations.

Punjab’s well being employee union are supporting the alliance and likewise demanding ample quarantine situations for medical employees.

Practically three dozen medical doctors, nurses and paramedics contracted the virus in a single hospital within the metropolis of Multan, whereas seven members of a physician’s household have been contaminated in Lahore, it added.

“We are simply demanding justice for our community,” mentioned physician and YDA chairman Khizer Hayat.

Hospital employees wouldn’t escalate their protest by strolling off the job, he added.

Provincial well being division officers advised AFP that hospitals had now been supplied with ample safety gear after an earlier “backlog” was resolved.

Earlier this month the Punjab authorities introduced that frontline employees might be awarded a pay bonus and life insurance coverage.

Virtually half of the almost 12,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections throughout Pakistan have been recorded in Punjab.

The variety of infections within the nation is believed to be far greater due to a scarcity of testing within the impoverished nation of 215 million.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan formally started in Pakistan on Saturday, with considerations that the sunshine restrictions imposed on mosque gatherings is not going to cease a doubtlessly fast unfold of the virus.

Frontline medical employees the world over have been grappling with brief provides of important security tools for the reason that begin of the pandemic.



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