Coronavirus: In Gilgit, The ‘Other’ Kashmir Records Its First Loss, A Doctor

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SRINAGAR: In Gilgit Baltistan, the erstwhile part of Jammu and Kashmir, a young doctor was the first to fell victim to the virus. He contracted the infection while scanning the people, mostly tourists.

Identified as Usama Riyaz, the young doctors died on Sunday night after struggling for life for at least two days.

Dr Usama Riyaz, the young Gilgit Doctor who was the first victim of Coronavirus. Pic: Internet

Riyaz contracted the infection while screening pilgrims returning from Iran and Iraq. The Gilgit Baltistan government had deployed Riyaz to the border Taftan town where crossings were taking place from Iran. Later, he managed the isolation centre for the infectious patients at Sakwar in Gilgit where he contracted the infection.

Mourning the death, his colleagues told the Pakistan media that Riyaz was killed because he lacked the protective gear. He was wearing just an ordinary mask. His relatives said when the disposed doctor was bedridden, he was driven to two hospitals – one each belonging to the army and the civil administration, but nowhere was the CT scan working.

A resident of Chilas, Riyaz was finally put on a ventilator in Gilgit. Three days later he died. With Riyaz’s death, Pakistan’s death toll has gone up to seven as more than 800 cases are reported to be infected, right now. Gilgiat has nearly 100 cases.

Pakistan is facing a serious crisis because of Afghanistan, Iran and a weak economic situation. GB is not far away from Kargil where a number of individuals, mostly who returned from Iran pilgrimage, are in quarantine. The Chinese road to Pakistan, the Karakorum Highway passes through Gilgit.

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