Dr Usama to be honoured with 'Nishan-e-Kashmir' for fight against COVID-19

AJK prime minister also announces bonus for doctors and paramedical staff throughout the state

Shabbir Hussain March 27, 2020
Raja Haider Khan announces bonus equal to their basic pay for doctors and paramedical staff throughout the state. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

GILGIT: Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan has announced awarding AJK’s highest official award “Nishan-e-Kashmir” for Dr Usama Riaz, who embraced martyrdom while treating coronavirus patients in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Presiding over a high-level meeting on Friday, PM Haider paid glowing tributes to Dr Riaz, saying he has set an everlasting example of valiance and courage.

Dr Riaz developed serious complications two days after testing positive for the coronavirus while screening the COVID-19 patients without adequate medical aid due to shortage of supplies and was shifted to the district headquarters hospital in Gilgit, where medics had put him on ventilator due to his critical condition. However, he passed away a day after.

"The doctors and paramedical staff are leading the war against novel coronavirus on the forefront and we laud their important role in this regard," he said.

Young doctor screening coronavirus patients dies of COVID-19 in Gilgit

The AJK premier also announced a bonus equal to their basic pay for doctors and paramedics throughout the state from grade 1 to 20.

Emphasising that the government would ensure their protection by providing them protective equipment, PM Haider directed the commissioners of all three divisions to take strict action against hoarders and profiteers through effective administrative steps in order to curtail hoarding and profiteering in the state.

He also directed to ensure uninterrupted supply of edibles and other basic amenities of life to the masses during lockdown in the region.

“A coronavirus testing lab has become functional in Muzaffarabad. Mirpur Laboratory is also being upgraded and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been approached for establishing another coronavirus testing lab at Rawalakot,” the AJK PM informed.

'We honour his sacrifice': Dr Usama's fight against COVID-19

Chief Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana, Secretary Health Major General Tahir Sardar and other officials attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the AJK prime minister attended another meeting which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Chief ministers of all four provinces and G-B were also present at the meeting.

Addressing the session, PM Hiader said that AJK has two confirmed coronavirus patients.

“So far the situation is under control. However, it could slip out of hands as Kashmir has a large number of expatriates, which is a serious issue for the government at the moment,” he said.

The AJK premier informed the meeting that the state government is taking all precautionary measures although they have limited resources to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

He also asked the federal government to provide 90,000 ton wheat to avert the food shortage in the state.

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