ISLAMABAD                 -            Over one hundred healthcare professionals including 50 doctors of the federal capital have been infected while battling with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) so far, The Nation learnt on Thursday.

According to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) details, 108 healthcare professionals including 50 doctors of the different hospitals have been infected with the COVID-19 so far.

The virus has been confirmed in 50 doctors, 34 nurses and 24 other health staff of different hospitals. It said that 95 healthcare professionals have been isolated in homes and two have been hospitalised.

The NEOC data said that two hospitalised health professionals are stable while 10 have been discharged after recovery. One healthcare professional lost its life while battling the virus.

The details said that three healthcare workers contracted the virus while performing duties in critical care and 105 got infected performing duties elsewhere.

The documents said that 236 contacts of these healthcare workers have been identified and all of them have been quarantined as well. The test details of the contacts have been also sent to National Institute of Health (NIH) and 227 have been received.

According to the documents, 15 of them have been also found positive.

Officials said that healthcare professionals at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) are being largely infected. “In last two days three doctors and two nurses have been tested positive with the virus,” said the official.

Officials at PIMS said that the three doctors tested positive include two from nephrology department and one from anesthesia.

Officials also said that other than newly confirmed cases, results of 35 employees of PIMS are still awaited. Meanwhile, in Federal General Government Services (FGSH) Polyclinic hospital, a dresser of minor Operation Theatre (OT) and a Lady Health Visitor (LHV) have been tested positive.

PIMS Media Coordinator Dr.WaseemKhawaja said that the virus has spread in the community and it is difficult to control it. He said that majority of healthcare workers who contracted virus were not from COVID-19 isolation ward.

He further said hospital management is trying best to keep its strength safe from the virus.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) in its statement issued said that is it is very much distressed and concerned about life and health of the people of the country.

It said after easing lockdown, even when there is rise in the rate of coronavirus infections, heavy traffic jams and big crowds have been observed in the markets everywhere in country.

It further said violation of SOPs is commonly observed and people are moving without mask. Nobody is keeping social distance. This chaos will rapidly increase the cases of COVID-19.

It said that PMA wants people to know that we cannot prevent coronavirus through limited resources and poor health delivery system. The only solution to overcome the virus is to adopt protective measures.

PMA has been providing guidelines to the people from January 22, 2020. After negligence of SOPs on part of public we once again request people to follow the following protective measures as a responsible citizen.