US Diplomat Alice Wells condoles the death of Pakistani doctor, Dr.Usama Riaz, in a fight against pandemic coronavirus.
He passed away while treating coronavirus patients. In a statement, Alice Wells wrote, “We salute all the brave medical workers across South and Central Asia who are risking their lives to help the sick and keep us safe”
Adding that she is “Saddened to hear of the death of Dr. Usama Riaz, who was on the frontlines of the fight against #COVID19 in Pakistan. The U.S. stands with you.”
We salute all the brave medical workers across South and Central Asia who are risking their lives to help the sick and keep us safe. Saddened to hear of the death of Dr. Usama Riaz, who was on the frontlines of the fight against #COVID19 in Pakistan. The U.S. stands with you. AGW— State_SCA (@State_SCA) March 23, 2020
According to The News, Usama Riaz, a 26-year-old doctor from Chillas, was among the 10-member team of doctors assigned with the screening of pilgrims returning from Iran. He later started to treat suspected coronavirus patients at the isolation center established in Gilgit.
His colleagues informed that Dr. Usama Riaz relentlessly served the coronavirus patients and risked his health.
Dr. Shah Zaman, a senior official of the Health Department and focal person of GB for coronavirus, said that he met Dr.Usama Riaz in person on Thursday.
“After I met him at the screening center, he later finished duty and went home. He was perfectly fine at that time and didn’t make any complaints. However, when his wife tried to wake him the next day he did not respond and when they checked, he was unconscious,” Dr. Zaman said.
He said that Usama Riaz was first taken to Combine Military Hospital and then shifted to Provincial Headquarters Hospital at Gilgit. He was put on the ventilator and tested twice that came positive.
According to the doctors in PHQ, his test samples were even sent to the National Institute of Health. The officials said they broke the news of Dr.Usama Riaz with a delay since it was a sensitive issue and they anticipated serious repercussions, hence, they wanted to utilize all their efforts to save Dr. Usama Riaz.
He spent three days on the ventilator before announced dead on Sunday night. The provincial information department commemorated his services and declared him a martyr and a national hero.
Meanwhile, social media users poured love and respect for Dr.Usama Riaz on Twitter and pressed the government to provide the frontline doctors treating and paramedic staff treating coronavirus patients with adequate protective gear and equipment.
‘We honour his sacrifice’: Dr Usama’s fight against COVID-19 https://t.co/5r8SGbp4zB Condolences to family of 26- year old Dr Usama Riaz, from Gilgit-Baltistan, first doctor to die in the line of duty in this national war;our frontline protectors need protection with special gear
— Mushahid Hussain (@Mushahid) March 24, 2020
The Pakistan Medical Association strongly reacted to the death of Usama Riaz and blamed the provincial health department for not providing the necessary personal protective equipment to doctors to treat coronavirus patients. He was, buried with state protocols in Gilgit Baltistan.