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Violence grips Karachi hospital over handing body of a patient who dies of COVID-19

May 31, 2020

Karachi [Pakistan], May 31 (ANI): In a yet another incident where Pakistanis broke the mandatory rule imposed to keep coronavirus infection at bay, mob violence gripped the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital in Karachi on Friday over the delay in handing body of a patient who died of coronavirus.
Karachi police officials told Dawn on Saturday that a patient was brought to the hospital at 2:15 a.m. on Friday night but he died while being treated. The doctors suspected the patient to have the coronavirus and conducted a test, which came positive.
However, the relatives of the deceased patient refuted the test results and alleged that the doctors had declared him to be positive even though he was "normal".
Officials said that some 70 people stormed the hospital ward at around 10:30 p.m. (local time). They resorted to violence and forcibly took away the body. Videos taken of the hospital's entrance showed a large number of people removing equipment such as stretchers from the hospital premises and breaking the sanitiser gate installed there.
Responding to allegations of delay, the medical superintendent at the hospital Dr Khadim Hussain Qureshi further informed the media that doctors at the hospital were only following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government for handling bodies of people who die from the virus.
"We are government servants. We only follow what the government tells us," he said.
He added that the patient had come to the hospital complaining of a heart problem. The doctors suspected that he had the coronavirus and conducted a test.
"It takes time for the result to be received," he said further.
Qureshi also noted that none of the doctors was injured in the violence but, he said, a female doctor was slapped by one of the deceased's relatives.
A senior police official said that the hospital administration had not approached police for lodging a first information report (FIR). However, he said, the police have decided to register the case against the persons involved over charges of rioting and creating hindrances in official work.
Pakistan has been the most chilled country in the world despite being severely hit by the virus. One of Imran Khan's minister calls coronavirus god's punishment, the Punjab chief minister promises ulemas mosques won't be closed, and worshippers continue to defy lockdown rules amid a rising number of COVID cases.
It is true that Khan's government has no plan and no direction to deal with the coronavirus. The fact becomes more evident after witnessing how the Pakistan prime minister begs for money to stabilise the country's economy in the garb of coronavirus at a time when world leaders are looking at ways to treat, cure or take precaution against the highly dangerous contagion.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 69,496 on Sunday after new infections were confirmed in the last 24 hours in the country. As per the province-wise break-up cited by Geo News, 27,360 new cases were registered in Sindh, 25,056 cases in Punjab, 9,540 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,193 cases in Balochistan, 2,418 cases in Islamabad, 678 cases in Gilgit-Baltistan and 251 cases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
As many as 1,483 people so far have lost their lives after contracting the infection. (ANI)