In a tragic incident, a doctor from Quetta who had contracted the Congo virus lost his life while being transported to Karachi for treatment, as reported by sources.
This unfortunate death has prompted the Balochistan government to issue an alert to the relevant departments, urging them to take immediate measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the province.
The deceased doctor was one of the 11 healthcare providers who contracted Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) following an outbreak at the Sandeman Provincial Hospital, as confirmed by an official from the Balochistan health department.
According to sources, Dr. Shukrullah Langove was being transferred to Karachi by road when he passed away during the journey. Dr. Hafeez Kakar, a representative of Quetta’s Young Doctors’ Association, expressed that Dr. Langove’s life might have been saved if the Balochistan health department had taken swift action and arranged for his transportation to Karachi via an air ambulance.
Dr. Kakar claimed that the medical staff had been personally organizing the transfer of ailing healthcare providers to Karachi. Discussing the source of the virus, he mentioned that two CCHF patients had recently been treated at the hospital, and healthcare providers contracted the infection from them.
Dr. Abad Khan, associated with the Balochistan health department’s Disease Surveillance and Response Unit, confirmed that 11 healthcare providers had tested positive for CCHF. Sadly, one of them lost his life during the transfer to Karachi, while four others were undergoing treatment at the Sandeman Hospital in Quetta. The remaining six were admitted to a private hospital in Karachi, with two patients in serious condition.
Caretaker Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Domki also confirmed on a social media platform that three doctors, one consultant, one nurse, and two paramedics had been transported to Karachi on Saturday.
Dr. Khan explained that a significant screening effort had been carried out at the hospital following the outbreak, leading to the detection of these 11 cases. Dr. Khan detailed the origins of the outbreak, stating that a CCHF patient from Harnai was admitted to the hospital last month. Unfortunately, the hospital did not adhere to the infection control protocol during his treatment.
Dr. Khan elaborated that after being admitted on October 22, the patient tested positive for CCHF and was subsequently referred to the Fatima Jinnah Chest and General Hospital’s isolation unit for treatment, where he successfully recovered.
The situation took a turn when one doctor, initially diagnosed with a common cold, developed high fever and body pain on October 28. His condition worsened over the following days, leading to his admission to the intensive care unit and later transfer to CMH, Quetta.
Subsequently, 17 to 18 doctors reported similar symptoms, along with reduced platelet levels, and eight of them tested positive for CCHF on November 3.
In response, the caretaker Chief Minister of Balochistan issued an emergency order to the health and livestock departments, calling for preventive measures to curb the virus’s spread. He emphasized the need to inform the general public, particularly those involved in the purchase and sale of livestock and cattle pastures, about the virus. The authorities were urged to disinfect dairy farms, with a reminder that Congo virus-induced fever can be fatal.