Dr. Usama Riaz Died A Hero Trying To Save COVID-19 Patients In Pakistan. You Should Know Him

Dr. Usama Riaz Died A Hero Trying To Save COVID-19 Patients In Pakistan. You Should Know Him

Though he knew the risks involved, the young doctor decided to put his patients first.

Image Source: Twitter/StanceGrounded

Dr. Usama Riaz is nothing short of a hero in Pakistan. He put his life on the line to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Dr. Riaz did not have adequate protective gear to ensure his own safety while treating patients that had tested positive. Nevertheless, he kept fighting for his patients, until the virus claimed his life. It was reported that he was the first medic from Pakistan to die. dr. Riaz was part of a 10-person team screening pilgrims who recently returned to Pakistan from countries like Iraq and Iran. He later treated these patients at isolation centers in Gilit, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.



Last Friday, after treating his patients, Dr. Riaz went to bed tired. However, the next morning, he just couldn't get up.  He was rushed to a military hospital for a CT scan but the equipment didn't work. He was put on life support, but two days later, he died. β€œIt is with extreme sadness that the Gilgit-Baltistan health department confirms that Usama Riaz who played a key role in the war against coronavirus has passed away," the Gilgit Baltistan government tweeted on Monday. "Usama proved himself the real hero by sacrificing his life to save others,” GB Information Minister Shams Mir said. 



It is believed that Dr. Riaz contracted the virus since he didn't have access to proper protective equipment (PPE). There are other doctors in Pakistan who have also contracted the disease for the same reason. As a doctor, Riaz knew of the danger he was putting himself in, but that did not stop him from lending a helping hand to those who really needed it. According to Al Jazeera, there are over 1,000 documented cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan and the number has tripled over the past week. Healthcare officials strongly believe that Pakistan could become a hotbed for the virus due to its underdeveloped healthcare system.



"We're on a very low scale, in terms of infrastructure," Dr. Shamail Daud, a healthcare management specialist, said. "Healthcare is very disintegrated and not very high in terms of quality or dealing with high levels of critical care for patients, which is, unfortunately, an outcome of COVID-19. Pakistani medical officials are calling on the government to provide more protective gear to doctors so they don't have to suffer the same fate as Riaz." "We request the government to immediately provide us personal protection equipment," Dr. Asfandyar Khan, president of staff at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, told a news conference on Friday, according to Reuters.



"It is like suicide to treat patients without protection," added Dr. Khan. "If infection spreads in hospitals believe me no person will be ready to touch any patient." On Friday, Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal, the chief of Pakistan's national disaster management department, said the country has procured 12,500 pieces of personal protective equipment and it will be sent to hospitals. But, the country has also reported a shortage of ventilators. "We have 1,700 ventilators in public hospitals and another 600 in the private sector," said Lt. Gen. Afzal, who said the country has put in an order for 800 more. Dr. Riaz is an example of the lengths that doctors traverse to save lives, sometimes at the cost of their own. 


Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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