Usama Riaz

Usama Riaz (Urdu: اسامہ ریاض‎; 1993 or 1994 – 23 March 2020) was a Pakistani physician from Gilgit-Baltistan.[1]

Usama Riaz
Died (aged 26)
Cause of deathCOVID-19
Known forHis work during the COVID-19 pandemic


During his career, Riaz screened pilgrims who had returned to Pakistan from Iran.[2]

He also treated people in intensive care diagnosed with COVID-19, despite lacking personal protective equipment,[3][4] which increased his personal risk.[5][6]


Riaz died on 23 March 2020 from the COVID-19 complications at the age of 26.[5] Riaz was the first Pakistani doctor to die from the virus.[7]

On 27 March 2020, he was posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Kashmir, the highest award of the state, by Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir for his services.[1] Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman, Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan called his death as "national tragedy".[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "AJK PM announces Nishan-e-Kashmir for GB doctor who died of coronavirus - Pakistan". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  2. ^ "Pakistan Doctor Dies Amid Strike Threat Over Lack of Protection". The New York Times. Reuters. 22 March 2020. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. was screening pilgrims who had returned to Pakistan from Iran
  3. ^ Perry, Tod (25 March 2020). "Dr. Usama Riaz gave everything he had to fight COVID-19. The world should know his name". Upworthy. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020.
  4. ^ Mahmood, Aisha (24 March 2020). "US mourns death of Gilgit-Baltistan doctor who died after contracting coronavirus". Business Recorder. Archived from the original on 29 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Pakistan coronavirus: 'We can't see it, but everyone is terrified'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 2020-03-27. Medical professionals have criticised the lack of protective clothing provided to frontline staff . "to work without protective equipment is suicide."
  6. ^ Menon, Devika (26 March 2020). "Dr. Usama Riaz Died A Hero Trying To Save COVID-19 Patients In Pakistan. You Should Know Him". McGill. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. He put his life on the line to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Dr. Riaz did not have adequate protective gear to ensure his own safety while treating patients that had tested positive. Nevertheless, he kept fighting for his patients, until the virus claimed his life. "Pakistani medical officials are calling on the government to provide more protective gear to doctors so they don't have to suffer the same fate as Riaz. It is like suicide to treat patients without protection". Dr. Riaz is an example of the lengths that doctors traverse to save lives, sometimes at the cost of their own.
  7. ^ "First Pakistani doctor dies from coronavirus". 24 News HD. 2020-03-22. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  8. ^ "'We honour his sacrifice': Dr Usama's fight against COVID-19". The Express Tribune. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.