Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Director of Public Health Dr Ikramullah Khan has tested positive for Covid-19, the province's minister for finance and health, Taimur Khan Jhagra, revealed on Monday.
Jhagra said Dr Ikramullah "is in high spirits, feeling good, and is isolated at his home".
The minister paid tribute to Dr Ikramullah, thanking him for his service and calling him an asset everyone was proud of. He also lauded the efforts of "thousands of other frontline workers" fighting the novel coronavirus in the province.
As Jhagra wished full recovery to Dr Ikramullah, he reminded the nation of the sacrifices frontline medics were making in the country's fight against the pandemic.
"Dr Ikram had to take the risk of attending a workplace so others are safe. Many of us do, and accept the risk, above all thousands of front line workers," Jhagra tweeted.
While the provincial minister acknowledged that the next few months will be challenging on several fronts, he vowed to fight and beat the virus with "resolve, discipline" and unity.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's focal point on coronavirus Zain Raza also wished Dr Ikramullah "speedy recovery and health", acknowledging his role as being on the frontline of the province's coronavirus response team.
Earlier this month, a doctor at the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Mardan who raised his voice against a lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for healthcare workers at the facility was tested positive for Covid-19.
Dozens of healthcare providers infected
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), a representative body of doctors, has said dozens of healthcare providers in the country have been infected with the virus, blaming the low quality of personal protective equipment given to them.
In Multan’s Nishtar Medical Hospital, as many as 28 doctors and paramedics have been confirmed with Covid-19. Similarly, a number of healthcare providers have contracted the virus in Karachi. These healthcare providers are reported to have come into contact with infected but asymptomatic patients as they were not wearing proper PPE.
PMA representative Prof Dr Shahid Malik, while talking to Dawn, disclosed that some of the doctors had died while a number of others were infected due to unavailability and low quality PPE. “As many as 28 healthcare providers have been infected only in one hospital of Multan. We should understand the magnitude of the problem as a large number of healthcare providers are yet to be diagnosed,” he said.
In a statement, the PMA said health professionals must be protected all over the country on a priority basis because they and their families were at risk.
“So many doctors have been found positive with coronavirus; one of the recent examples is of an ENT professor at Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar, who has tested positive for coronavirus and has been shifted to ICU. He is on ventilator and fighting for his life. Two of our doctors have died so far while fighting on the frontline — Dr Usama Riaz and Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro. Unfortunately, no compensation has been announced yet for the aggrieved families of the deceased doctors,” the statement added.