Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro on Monday evening became the second doctor in Pakistan to lay down his life in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic after Gilgit-Baltistan’s Dr Usama Riaz, who had passed away last month while treating COVID-19 patients.
Dr Qadir passed away at an isolation centre of the Indus Hospital Karachi on Monday evening, his family members and colleagues said.
“Eminent physician and the current medical superintendent of the Alkhidmat Hospital Tharparkar, Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro, passed away this evening at the Indus Hospital Karachi. He had been on life support for the last several days after being infected with coronavirus,” Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) Karachi President Dr Azeemuddin said.
Expressing his profound sorrow and grief over the demise of the physician, the PIMA official said Dr Soomro contracted the virus while treating his patients in the Gulshan-e-Hadeed locality of the city, and when his condition deteriorated, he approached the Indus Hospital Karachi where he tested positive for the viral ailment and was admitted to the isolation ward.
“At the start of this month, his condition deteriorated further and he was put on life support. He remained on the ventilator for four to five days, and despite the prayers of his loved ones and thousands of well-wishers, he expired this evening,” Dr Azeemuddin said.
This is the first death of any physician in the Sindh province due to COVID-19, PIMA officials said, although the health department and the government have yet to announce his death formally.
With the demise of Dr Soomro, the total number of deaths due to coronavirus in Sindh rose to 18, health department officials said but added that a formal announcement in this regard would be made on Tuesday.
Responding to the sad demise of Dr Qadri, Sindh Minister Saeed Ghani said his name was an addition to the list of heroes in the war against the coronavirus pandemic.
“He serves the patients without fear bt at same time our these frontline soldiers while performing their duties take extra care,” Ghani added.
“We’ll try to provide protective gears to all medic incl working privately.”
Dr A Qadir Soomro is addition in list of heroes in recent pandamic war. He serves the patients without fear bt at same time our these frontline soldiers while performing their duties take extra care. We'll try to provide protective gears to all medic incl working privately. pic.twitter.com/aNjnlM4CEQ
— Senator Saeed Ghani (@SaeedGhani1) April 7, 2020
A kindhearted man
“Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro was born on February 1st 1956 in the Shikarpur district of Sindh and did his MBBS from the Chandka Medical College Larkana. After specialising in dermatology, he started practising in the province,” Dr Abdul Malik, a neurologist and close associate of Dr Soomro said.
Dr Malik said Dr Soomro was a former chief medical officer (CMO) of the Pakistan Steel Mills, but most importantly, he was a visionary who helped with the establishment of several charity health facilities in Sindh, including the Alkhidmat Hospital Tharparkar and Farida Yaqoob Alkhidmat Hospital in Gulshan-e-Hadeed, and as well as those in Malir.
“Dr Soomro was a well-known physician and he was known for his love for humanity. Anybody could go to his clinic and once the patient said he couldn’t pay, Dr Soomro would not charge his fee but used to provide medicines to needy and deserving people also,” he added.
Another physician, Dr Fayyaz Alam, said Dr Soomro was a former Nazim of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) Sindh and served as PIMA Sindh president also. The late doctor believed in serving humanity and even in the last days of life he was serving ailing humanity.
“Dr Soomro could have closed down his clinic due to fear of coronavirus, but he believed in serving people. He used to say, ‘where would these people go who come from villages and don’t have the telemedicine facility’,” Dr Alam said.