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Pakistan Medical Personnel Detained While Protesting Over Coronavirus Crisis

06 Apr 2020 Gandhara - RFE/RL

QUETTA -- Police in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta have detained dozens of doctors and other medical personnel who were protesting the lack of proper equipment in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Personnel from the Quetta Civil Hospital and Bolan Medical College were marching toward the provincial government building on April 6 when they were stopped by officers and detained.

Witnesses said there were instances of beatings during the police operation, which also dispersed a makeshift protest camp set up by personnel.

The protesters said that 12 of their colleagues who were treating patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, had tested positive and that they would return to their duties only after the government provides them with personal protection equipment.

The government in Balochistan Province, of which Quetta is the capital, says hospitals in the province have been fully equipped with all of the necessary items needed to battle the outbreak.

Pakistani authorities have reported 3,469 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far, including 50 deaths.

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