Dr Amir Ali Khan, a 30-year-old doctor in government hospital in Swabi registered his protest against the shortage of protective masks for health workers by wearing a polythene bag over his head.
Determined to carry on his duties, when the doctor could not find any protective gear, he used a plastic bag to keep himself safe while he checked 30-40 patients.
Speaking to a local news outlet, the Dr Khan said that he had written several letters to the district health department in this regard but nobody responded to his requests. “Anyone can be a carrier of the virus. The government is putting us at risk,” he said, adding that the country cannot afford to have its doctors become sick as the number of cases keep increasing.
When the doctor grew tired of waiting, he had himself photographed, covered in a plastic bag, to record his protest.
After the photograph went viral, Dr Khan said, he was contacted by officials of the provincial health department and given protective gear.
While Swabi remains relatively safe from the virus, the nearby city, Mardan, is under lockdown after it reported the first coronavirus death. According to Dr Khan, he is also visited by patients from Mardan.
It is worth mentioning here that the first patient to die of coronavirus in Mardan had recently returned to the country after performing Umrah in Saudi Arabia. He was greeted in his village with a rousing welcome and a grand feast attended by more than 2,000 people, many of whom embraced him warmly. Health officials are currently conducting tests of people he may have come in contact with to trace more cases.