Police forces reportedly clashed with doctors and medical staff during a protest in Quetta (Balochistan province) on Monday, April 6, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Participants gathered in the city center before heading towards the Chief Minister House to protest the government's failure to supply hospitals with safety equipment. Police used wielding batons to disperse the crowd and arrested dozens of individuals for defying a ban on public gatherings. This came after medical staff complained for weeks over a medical equipment shortage in hospitals across Pakistan.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of any related protests over the coming days.
As of Tuesday, March 7, there are 3918 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country including 55 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus to be expected over the near term.
Individuals in Quetta are advised to monitor developments to the situation, respect all confinement and movement restrictions, and adhere to all other instructions issued by local authorities.