4 doctors in Larkana issued notices for shirking duty with suspected virus patients

Updated 10 Apr 2020

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A World Health Organisation official inspects facilities for coronavirus patients at the CMC Hospital in Larkana on Thursday.—PPI
A World Health Organisation official inspects facilities for coronavirus patients at the CMC Hospital in Larkana on Thursday.—PPI

LARKANA: The Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University has served show-cause notices on four doctors asking them to explain reasons for abstaining from the duty they had been assigned of collecting samples of suspected Covid-19 patients.

Sources in vice chancellor’s secretariat said on Thursday that the notices had been sent to Dr Abdul Rasheed Shaikh, Dr Jai Kirshan, Dr Sarfraz Tunio and Dr Sikandar Ansari.

The university registrar Prof Dr Saeed Ahmed Shaikh, who had issued notices and recommended to medical superintendent of CMCH to initiate action against one of the doctors, said that he had not yet received any replies to the notices though the doctors were asked to reply within three days.

Talking to Dawn, Dr Abdul Rasheed Shaikh said that he disagreed with the notice as he was present and ready for duty but still he was served notice. He just wanted to be provided personal protective equipment and said in the absence of essential kits he would not collect the samples as it would be a deliberate exposure to threat, he said.

Meanwhile, Prof Dr K. Das, principal of Chandka Medical College, who was in-charge of Covid-19 control room established at the university, had constituted committees to liaise with control room set up for the purpose at deputy commissioner’s office.

He would ensure sample collection of suspected patients, provision of protective equipment for doctors and coordination with MS of CMCH and district health officer (DHO).

About status of Covid-19 cases as of Thursday, he said that a team had collected samples of five suspected patients including a doctor and one pregnant woman.

On Wednesday, the university vice chancellor chaired a meeting to take stock of the situation in Larkana district. The meeting, attended by Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, adviser to Sindh chief minister on universities and boards, PPP MNA Khursheed Ahmed Junejo, Deputy Comm­issioner Noman Siddiq, Prof Dr K. Das, deans of medicine, surgery, basic sciences, MS of CMCH, DHO and heads of pathology and ENT departments decided to establish control room at VC secretariat.

It said that DHO of Qambar-Shahdadkot would nominate two medical officers each from all subdivisions for training and a 50-bed ICU would be set up at the oncology unit of CMCH for which Sindh government would be approached to provide required equipment.

The doctors’ team had collected samples of nine Covid-19 patients for the second time after they had completed 14 days at the quarantine centre at SMBBMU Arija campus on Airport Road. The samples of 27 family members of a coronavirus positive case currently admitted to Dow University Hospital, Karachi, were also taken and their results were still awaited. So far three Covid-19 cases had surfaced in the district, which were cases of local transmission, said sources.

DHO Dr Athar Shah was not available for comments.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2020