While Malala Yousafzai briefly breathed without a ventilator on Sunday, an air ambulance was on standby to fly the iconic teenage peace activist abroad in case of emergency, perhaps to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Military surgeons conducted three consecutive clinical examinations on Sunday and compiled a report which stated: “Malala’s condition is stable and she is recovering from her injury steadily.”
According to military surgeons at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology, Rawalpindi, Malala respired without a ventilator on Sunday for a few moments after successfully moving her limbs on Saturday.
“It was an amazing development made by her body. Usually patients on ventilators with such a complicated head injury never show such signs … Keeping our fingers crossed to see her regain consciousness,” one of the surgeons on the board responsible for Malala’s treatment told The Express Tribune requesting anonymity.
He added that Malala would go through another detailed examination on Monday morning for a clinical report. After a review of the reports, a decision would be taken on whether or not to fly her to the UAE.
Sources said the UAE government has already sent an aircraft with all necessary arrangements, including an air ambulance, to take Malala to the Gulf state for further treatment.
Meanwhile, military spokesman Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa told The Express Tribune that the decision to remove Malala from ventilator and move her to Dubai was yet to be taken by the board of doctors treating her.
However, Maj Gen Bajwa confirmed that an air ambulance was on standby to fly her abroad in case of emergency.
Earlier in a press statement, Maj Gen Bajwa stated: “Short trial of wearing off from ventilator was given her, which was successful. Later, she was reconnected to the ventilator to avoid patient’s fatigue.”
However, no details regarding the treatment of the two other students – Shazia and Kainat who were also injured in the attack on Malala – were available. Maj Gen Bajwa said that “they were also being taken care of at places where they can get the best treatment”.
180 suspects detained
With 20 more arrests on Sunday, 180 suspects have so far been detained in Swat for their involvement in the attack on Malala, a district police official said on Sunday.
The arrests came after security forces and police launched a joint search operation in different parts of Swat. An official said stringent security measures have been put in place across the district and all the entry and exit routes have been manned by security forces and police. He said sporadic door-to-door searches were being conducted in various localities.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AGENCIES)
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2012.