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Why have doctors refused to perform their duties in Sukkur?

The paramedic staff in Sindh has reportedly declined to work. The health department has taken the notice. Why are doctors and other staff members not willing to work in a critical situation like this?

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The paramedic staff at the coronavirus quarantine centre in Sukkur refused to perform their duties on Wednesday, according to a media report. The doctors and nurses have reportedly declined to work due to the absence of adequate facilities to protect themselves from those infected positive.

Analysts believe that Sindh government has adequately dealt with the crisis. Murad Ali Shah has appeared to be a leader who not only addressed the challenge but also took all the required decisions in time. However, the doctors and other staff members are now demanding facilities before they treat any Coronavirus patient.

The report stated that following the refusals, the Sindh Health Department issued a show cause notice to 27 members of the staff. Fourteen other people who had been absent from their duties have been asked to submit an application stating the reason behind their absences.

On Wednesday, more than 757 pilgrims from the Taftan border reached Sukkur. According to the deputy commissioner, the total number of people at the centre has increased to 1,050. Nine new known cases of the COVID-19 were reported in Sukkur on Wednesday.

Read more: Pakistani university invents cheap Coronavirus testing kits

It is worth noting that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday announced a Rs3-billion fund for coronavirus affectees, saying that various officials of the Sindh government and PPP MPAs will donate their salaries to it.

The announcement was made by Sindh government representative Senator Murtaza Wahab on Twitter.  “#SindhGovt has established a Corona Virus Relief Fund with the seed money of Rs 3 Billion. The CM, Ministers, Advisors, Special Assistants & all PPP MPAs will contribute their 1 month salary into the fund,” he tweeted.

Officers of Sindh government’s Grade 21 will donate half of their salaries to the fund while officers of Grade 17-20 will donate 10 % of their salaries. It was also announced that officers of Grade 1-16 will donate 5% of their salaries to the fund.

The fund will be operated by five people; three from the government sector and two from the private one. The chief minister has decided to transfer Rs1 billion from the relief fund into the coronavirus relief fund.

Read more: Pakistan’s civil military leadership formulates policy against Coronavirus

It is pertinent to mention here that it was the Sindh government which took decision to close educational institutes in the province back in February for the first time in the country and later other provinces also followed the measure.

The Sindh chief minister said as Coronavirus has now become a pandemic, therefore his government is left with no option but to take drastic measures to control the situation and save the lives of the people. “It is high time to close the cinemas, marriage halls, lawns, shrines and Urs programs and observed that we can’t even allow marriage functions at clubs,” he said and added “Yes, people can hold marriages at a limited level at their homes but depending on the situation any such permission can be revoked.” Directing the chief secretary to issue notification for imposing such ban, the chief minister said “I am support the decision to contain the Coronavirus,” and added “as and when the situation is improved we would reverse our decision of banning social and religious gatherings.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Should Pakistan export N-95 Masks?

In another important development, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has imposed ban on traveling of government officers. He directed the chief secretary to inform the federal government that the officers of Sindh may be taken on video conference instead of inviting them to Islamabad.

It is yet to be seen as to how the PPP’s government deal with paramedic staff while ensuring that no patient dies due to the fight between doctors and the government.

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