In a distressing turn of events, the Caretaker Balochistan Minister for Health, Dr Amir Muhammad Khan Jogezai, made a startling claim on Tuesday, stating that the death of a doctor infected with the Congo virus occurred due to an ambulance being halted at a checkpost by Coast Guard personnel in Winder for a routine inspection.
The deceased doctor, Dr Shukarullah Langove, was en route to a Karachi hospital for further treatment at the time of this unfortunate incident, as conveyed by the minister during a press conference attended by health officials.
Jogezai, in a tone of lament, highlighted that this delay, carried out without apparent justification, had tragically resulted in the doctor’s untimely demise before reaching the Karachi hospital.
The minister expressed his concern over the ambulance being detained under the pretext of a routine check, emphasising the urgency for ambulances to be given priority in order to promptly transport patients in life-threatening situations.
Read More: Experts warn against looming risk of Congo virus
In the midst of this unfortunate situation, Jogezai provided an update on the health condition of four other doctors who had also contracted the deadly Congo virus. He stated that their condition remained unstable and had further deteriorated.
These four individuals were also transported to Karachi for essential medical treatment, including a lady doctor in urgent need of platelets, as the minister mentioned.
Jogezai assured the public that the government was mobilising all available resources to ensure the well-being and recovery of the patients currently under treatment. He stressed the rigorous enforcement of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued by the government after declaring a health emergency, particularly in response to the alarming spread of the Congo virus in Quetta.
To contain the outbreak, specific wards and departments at the civil hospital, where the infection had initially originated among doctors and healthcare providers, have been sealed following thorough disinfection procedures.
Read More: Karachi sets up Congo unit to deal with virus
Jogezai further disclosed that all the affected doctors and healthcare personnel who had contracted the Congo virus were being relocated to Karachi for specialised medical attention.
Despite the initial efforts to arrange air ambulance transportation, unfavorable weather conditions had prevented the ambulance from reaching Quetta. Consequently, all affected individuals had to be transported by road. However, he noted that two of the infected doctors were successfully transferred to Karachi via air ambulance on a separate occasion.
Jogezai added that the isolation wards at the Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital were fully operational, with all the necessary medical equipment and machinery in place to ensure comprehensive care for the patients currently receiving treatment.