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Peshawar Hospital Attacked by Family of COVID-19 Patient

by Newsweek Pakistan
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Deceased woman’s family attacked staff after claiming she did not have any symptoms of novel coronavirus

Family members of a coronavirus patient who died in hospital early on Friday attacked doctors and broke open a door of the facility after claiming the deceased had not shown any symptoms of COVID-19.

According to staff at the Lady Reading Hospital, a 50-year-old woman was brought to the hospital Thursday night in critical condition. They said that she passed away shortly after, resulting in her family members vandalizing the hospital and attacking healthcare professionals tasked to treat her.

The deceased woman’s son, Shahzad Advocate, meanwhile claimed that his mother had not shown any symptoms of the coronavirus. He said that she had been a cardiac patient—heart patients are deemed at high risk of coronavirus complications and have been advised by medical professionals to practice social distancing at all times—and accused the doctor on call of ignoring her plight and instead ordering a coronavirus test.

According to Shahzad, his mother was then shifted to a coronavirus ward and she died shortly after. Reacting in anger, he admitted, his family had brawled with doctors and damaged the hospital.

This isn’t the first instance of family members taking their anger out at doctors for failing to save patients who have been brought to hospital for treatment at a late stage. On May 20, the relatives of two coronavirus patients harassed doctors at Lahore’s Mayo Hospital. Similarly, on May 15, a suspected coronavirus patient’s family attacked a doctor at Karachi’s Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center.

Healthcare professionals fear such incidents will only increase as hospitals start to get overwhelmed by the influx of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients. Doctors have long warned that if the government continues to ease lockdown restrictions and allows the virus to spread rapidly, a point would come when they would have to choose between saving one of two people.

As of May 29, Pakistan has 64,028 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, against 22,305 recoveries and 1,317 deaths. There are currently 40,406 active cases of infections nationwide.

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