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KP Doctors Becoming Source Of Community Spread Of COVID-19 Due To PPE Shortage

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s doctors and health workers are becoming a source of coronavirus community outbreak due to the severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the province.

According to a news report published in DAWN, Dr Zubair Mahsud, the chairman of Provincial Doctors Association said: “The healthcare providers are now becoming the sources of Covid-19, as they move around in hospitals, not knowing that the patient they have examined is positive or not.” He said that government’s failure to provide protective gears to health workers specifically involved in management of Covid-19 patients was causing infection to doctors, nurses and paramedics, who came into contact with asymptomatic patients.

“The World Health Organisation says that suspected Covid-19 patients should be examined in a separate setup outside the hospitals. Signs and symptoms in Covid-19 patients appear within 14 days due to which patients with non-corona illnesses enter the OPDs and transmit the disease to health workers, who subsequently become source of infection in hospitals, hostels and their homes,” said the PDA chief.

To date, more than 50 doctors and other health workers have tested positive in the province, most of them have not dealt Covid-19 patients. The experts are of the view that if the provincial government cannot enforce effective lockdown, then health workers should be armed with PPEs. They also believe that quality of PPEs provided to doctors and paramedics is not up to the desired level.

Meanwhile, KP’s health department is conducting a ‘fast-track’ study to know the cause of Covid-19 infection among health workers. “It is not the quality of the PPEs but its irrational use. There are many factors which can cause infection. In personal life, health workers meet asymptomatic people and get exposed to infection,” a senior health official told the newspaper.

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Last week, KP Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra, while addressing a press conference, said that the government had placed order for PPEs and other machinery worth Rs3.6 billion. “We are getting the supplies and sending the same to hospitals on need basis,” he added.

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Naya Daur