Doctors rally in Quetta demanding protective equipment to treat COVID-19 patients

In the wake of lack of availability of protective equipment to treat COVID-19 patients as well as in lieu with their demand for permanent jobs, doctors and medical staff in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province stayed away from official duty and rallied across the streets of the provincial capital, Quetta, despite a government ban on large gatherings.

Riot police used force to disperse the rally and briefly detained around 50 rally participants on April 7. The detainees refused to leave the police station unless their demands were adhered to. They even demanded legal action against officers who ordered the police crackdown on the medical staffs.

Assuring the doctors, civilian and military officials confirmed that a transport plane carrying personal protective equipment (PPE) for medics already had landed in Quetta and said more supplies were on the way.

Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa urging medics to maintain patience said, “Pakistan government is striving hard to acquire and supply the required resources. In this hour of distress, we must remain patient and steadfast.”

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