Balochistan: Doctors beaten, arrested for protesting over lack of virus safety equipment

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Doctors and medical staff were beaten and arrested by police in Balochistan’s capital on Monday for protesting over non-provision of Personal Protective Equipment for treating coronavirus patients.

According to President Young Doctors Association, Dr. Yasir Khan, more than 150 doctors and paramedics have been arrested.

The doctors and medical staff wanted to protest outside the Chief Minister House when the police baton-charged them.

Young Doctors’ president stated in a press conference, announced to boycott services to the patients. “This government wants us to work and does not provide us anything (PPE for protection against the virus),” he said.

Following the arrests, the young doctors suspended their work in protest.

Dr Abdul Rahim, a spokesman for the doctors’ association leading the protest, told reporters after the incident that the medics believed the failure to supply them with safety gear was putting them at risk.

“A dozen doctors have been infected while other medical staff is also suffering,” he said. He added that a number of doctors and paramedics had been injured in the baton charge.

One day earlier, 44 doctors were suspended for refusing to go to Taftan, the border region of Balochistan where people returning from Iran are kept in quarantine.

Balochistan government’s Focal Person for Counter Corona, Mir Umair Mohammad Hassani said that 12 doctors had already been suspended for refusing government orders.

Former Chief Minister of Balochistan, Doctor Malik Baloch stated that actions should be taken against the people on whose behest peaceful protesters of the doctors were abused and arrested.

He further added that police should immediately apologize to the doctors and release them.

A nationalist party from the region, Balochistan National Party (BNP) reacted after the incident saying, where whole world is battling Coronavirus, Balochistan government is battling doctors.


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