Sindh govt orders probe of circumstances leading to Dr Furqan's death

Published May 5, 2020
Sindh Government Spokesman Senator Murtaza Wahab (pictured) confirmed the development on Twitter last night, saying a committee had been formed to investigate the matter and will submit its report "within 24 hours". — Facebook/File
Sindh Government Spokesman Senator Murtaza Wahab (pictured) confirmed the development on Twitter last night, saying a committee had been formed to investigate the matter and will submit its report "within 24 hours". — Facebook/File

The Sindh Government formed a committee late Monday night to probe the circumstances that lead to the death of Dr Furqanul Haq – the third member of the medical fraternity in Karachi to have fallen victim to the coronavirus – after it was initially alleged he had died because he could not be provided a ventilator in time.

Sindh Government Spokesman Senator Murtaza Wahab confrmed the development on Twitter last night, saying a committee had been formed to investigate the matter and will submit its report "within 24 hours".

Dr Furqanul Haq — who had recently retired from the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases — was not actively engaged in the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

According to Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Secretary General Dr Qaiser Sajjad, Dr Haq died on Sunday after he needed to be put on a ventilator but could not find the facility despite visiting several hospitals in the city.

When asked if the Sindh government was facing a shortage of ventilators, Media Coordinator to the Health and Population Welfare Minister Meeran Yousuf had said yesterday that ventilators and beds were available at CHK and JPMC. "However, we’ve initiated an inquiry [into the matter]," she said.

On the other hand, Indus Hospital CEO Dr Abdul Bari claimed Dr Haq had delayed medical treatment because of the social stigma associated with contracting the coronavirus.

Speaking on Geo News during the show Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath on Monday night, Dr Bari said: "His niece works at our hospital [Indus Hospital] and she had insisted he get himself admitted but he had refused, thinking that the news of his diagnosis would spread in the neighbourhood."

Dr Bari confirmed that the deceased did not visit Indus Hospital.

In a statement, the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SUIT) also denied that Dr Haq visited the hospital. "SIUT has conducted a thorough internal inquiry. There is no evidence of Dr Haq’s entry in emergency services of SIUT," the statement read.

According to data from April 30, at least eight healthcare workers have died from the coronavirus so far in Pakistan. The first known Covid-19 fatality among the local medical community occurred in Gilgit Baltistan when a young doctor, Usama Riaz, succumbed to the disease in March.

Early last month, Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro from Sindh became the province's first Covid-19 fatality from the medical community.

According to the report, three healthcare workers have died from the virus in Sindh, two in Gilgit Baltistan and one each in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.

Opinion

A fragmenting ummah
Updated 23 Jul 2021

A fragmenting ummah

Muslims are suffering in many parts of the world, all of which is known by other Muslims, but that nevertheless continues.
Virtual vultures
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Virtual vultures

Pegasus software has stirred a storm of indignation across the globe.
Shifting goalposts
Updated 20 Jul 2021

Shifting goalposts

Afghanistan is one place where proxy war by regional and bigger powers has always been a constant.

Editorial

India’s admission
Updated 21 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
EU headscarf ban
Updated 23 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

Moves by the EU to curtail the religious freedoms of Muslims and others in the bloc need to be reviewed.
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.
New blow for Pak-Afghan ties
Updated 20 Jul 2021

New blow for Pak-Afghan ties

Islamabad police need to build a watertight case around their final conclusions because the stakes could not have been higher.
20 Jul 2021

FDI decline

THE worrisome, sharp decline in the more permanent, non-debt-creating foreign direct investment, or FDI, should be a...
20 Jul 2021

Another tragic accident

ALMOST every other week, if not every other day, newspapers report deadly road and rail accidents. It has been ...