Pakistani Hospitals Denying Coronavirus Test To Patients Without ‘Travel History’
As the country remains on Coronavirus alert, citizens wanting to get their tests done are sharing their stories of being turned away by staffs at the hospitals. Pakistan’s healthcare system has time and again proven to be incapable of dealing with such a crisis. But it is unfortunate that the government does not appear to be doing the needful to deal with the pandemic considering that the officials could have made the requisite arrangements after being informed of the severity of the situation by World Health Organisation (WHO).
A citizen of Islamabad Capital Territory shared his experience of visiting a number of hospitals to get his test done.
In a Facebook status, he wrote: “As per the perception around that Govt is taking the corona virus pandemic seriously, let me break that myth for everyone, THEY ARE NOT!”
He wrote that he went to the National Institute of Health (NIH) as he was suffering from ‘an extreme sort of viral infection’. He goes on to say: “Firstly, the staff there were trying their level best to discourage people to get themselves tested. Asking questions like, kiun karwana hai? Travel history nahi hai to rehne dain na karwayen. (Why do you want to get the test done? If you don’t have a travel history, then there is no need.)
Even laughing at some people who wanted to get tested saying aap ko nahi hai. (You don’t have it) “I told them that i wasnt here for fun and wanted to get myself tested as my doc recommended it. Then they told me to go to PIMS or Benazir hospital as i can get the test done for free there instead of paying Rs.6000. Seeing their non serious and unwilling attitude, I committed the grave sin of going to PIMS.”
The said citizen was tested negative for Coronavirus but his ordeal tells a lot about Pakistan’s preparedness to handle the prevailing situation.
Another user on Twitter claimed the PIMS administration did not test her because she did not have a travel history.
Went to PIMS with a cough and fever, they didn't bother testing me because I didn't have a travel history but what if I unknowingly came into contact with someone who had a travel history/ had contracted the virus somehow?
Now I understand why we have so few cases in Pakistan smh
— Mera jism,meri marzi (@AyeshaSGardezi) March 13, 2020