COVID Watch | 18th April 2020


Doctors on Hunger Strike

The Young Doctors Association (YDA) Punjab, along with other medic bodies, declared a hunger strike after the government failed to comply with their demands for personal protective equipment and screenings for health professionals. The announcement was made after police clashed with doctors to prevent them from entering the health secretariat in Lahore on April 17.

Cancer Patients Vulnerable

Cancer patients are at heightened risk of becoming severely ill if infected with Coronavirus. In light of this, the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital has taken necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of their patients. Currently, 2 of 4 inpatient units have been converted into ICUs, and a ward has been constructed to treat COVID-19 positive cancer patients, increasing the hospital’s inpatient capacity.

Sindh to Get Field Hospitals

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah ordered instituting field hospitals with a total capacity of 10,000 beds across Sindh to prepare for the expected boom in coronavirus cases in the province. The Sindh CM also ordered for disinfection drives.

Lahore’s Citizens Yet to Receive Aid

Lahore citizens who applied for the Prime Minister’s Ehsaas Program through SMS, but are not registered with the Benazir Income Support Program, have yet to receive any aid as NADRA has yet to verify these applicants. Meanwhile, the provincial government has claimed that around 100,000 Lahore’s underprivileged have received relief so far.

U.S Pledges Aid to Pakistan

The US has pledged $8.4 million to Pakistan to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, according to US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Jones in a video statement. An additional $2.4 million has been disbursed for life-saving activities in Afghan refugee and host communities in Pakistan administered by the UNHCR.

District Courts to Resume Activities

The Lahore High Court issued orders to all district and sessions judges in Punjab to reinstate the judicial workload, which had been limited to only urgent cases due to the coronavirus pandemic, by April 20th. Female judges may also be called back to resume their duties, however female judicial officers are currently exempted.