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Healthcare workers continue to face harassment amidst Pakistan's Covid-19 crisis

Up until June 30, Pakistan reported 5,367 infections in health workers, according to data released by the health ministry.

Updated 15 Jul, 2020 10:59am

Harassment, cyber bullying, trolling, misinformation, defamation, physical and mentalassaults are just a few byproducts of the pandemic that Pakistan’s healthcare workers face while carrying the burden of being the country’s first line of defence.

Jostling with scarce resources, Pakistani frontline medical practitioners continue to fall victim to tragic everyday experiences at hospitals along with the highly contagious viral infection.

As unfortunate as the circumstance might be, with an increasing number of people getting infected, the nation still continues to point fingers at our healthcare warriors.

The country has lost 58 brave souls including 42 doctors, 2 nurses, 1 medical student, 13 paramedics, including support staff, to Covid-19 who tirelessly worked to serve Pakistan and save lives.

Up until June 30, Pakistan reported 5,367 health workers (including doctors and paramedics) infected according to data released by the health ministry.

Out of these 2,798 have recovered while 2,569 are still under treatment or in self-isolation with around 240 fighting for their lives in hospital beds.

With rise in number of deaths, limited and mixed information about the ever-evolving virus and lack of information on treatment is resulting in a mix of feelings and newer sets of challenges for the doctors.

In an attempt to cope with the challenging situations, some patients and visitors often resort to refuse the existence of the virus altogether, while others choose aggression when faced with the death of a loved one.

In either of the two situations, violence and aggression towards healthcare workers continues to increase with every passing day; so much so that, the international organisation on human rights has also mentioned several instances of violence against health workers across Pakistan where doctors have been attacked and hospitals vandalised by angry mobs.

The Ministry of Health has urged the Government of Pakistan to take all possible measures to protect health workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Without these professionals, the country is bound to lose the ongoing fight against Covid- 19.

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