ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Executive Director Dr Amjad Mehmood told Dawn on Wednesday that the four-year-old sexual assault victim brought in on Tuesday was recovering gradually.

He said she has been removed from the ventilator, but she was still being kept at the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) under the observation of a team of doctors.

It is too early to say how long she will be kept in the PICU, Dr Mehmood said, adding that the child has regained consciousness but could not talk.

Her respiratory system was severely damaged, and she is also suffering from pneumonia, he said.

When contacted, the child’s mother told Dawn that her daughter’s condition was extremely critical. She denied that she had regained consciousness.

The doctors had removed her from the machines but then put her back on the ventilator, she said.

Meanwhile, investigators are combing the area where the child was found in search of any clues or evidence, police officers close to the investigation said.

They have also taken DNA samples from suspects, they said, adding that geo-fencing is in progress and thousands of mobile numbers are being verified.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2019