Pakistani frontline healthcare workers have been affected the most when compared to their counterparts around the world during the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed in its situation report of May 4.
As per the report, healthcare workers account for 509 out of the total 21,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan. Of those, 263 are doctors (52%), 171 paramedics (33%), and 75 nurses (15%). Several doctors have died during the pandemic as well, Dr. Usama Riaz being the first Pakistani doctor who passed away after contracting the disease due to insufficient personal protection.
Altogether, healthcare workers in Pakistan form 2.5% of the country’s total cases, the highest number for any country.
Authorities have so far identified, traced, and tested around 2,700 contacts of the healthcare workers after they tested positive for the virus. Of all the contacts, 194 have tested positive and 1,600 have been quarantined. Around 250 of those are awaiting results of their tests.
The report also highlights the rapidly increasing number of recoveries in Pakistan. 5,800 recoveries remain the only silver lining in these dark times.
Frontline healthcare workers have implored the government time and again to provide them with adequate protective gear. Doctors are of the view that the country’s already-burdened healthcare system would completely collapse if they started falling prey to the disease.