KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) is very concerned over the rapid increase of COVID-19 patients across Pakistan during the second wave of the pandemic.
Due to this increase in the burden of disease, doctors are getting infected rapidly and are dying. Till now, 127 doctors have lost their lives to COVID-19. Three doctors died last week, and then during the last three days, six more doctors succumbed to the ailment.
During the second wave, which started in November, 18 doctors have lost their lives (Punjab 7, Sindh 5, KPK 4, AJK 2). The situation is very alarming. Unfortunately, doctors are not getting proper protection. They are facing a shortage of PPEs. There is no proper place in hospitals for doctors’ isolation. They are not getting any risk allowance and even not getting their salaries on time.
It is unfortunate that the Shuhda Package’s announcement by the Government for the families of Shaheed doctors has not been implemented yet, and the aggrieved families are going through a hard time with lots of economic problems.
During long hours’ duty, doctors get exhausted, and they do not even have any room to sit and relax. At the same time, they face misbehavior and violence from the patients and their attendants. There is no check over the entry in hospitals; patients with COVID enter the hospitals openly, increasing doctors’ and others’ risk of getting infected. There should be one entrance at the hospital where people should be scanned properly, examined for temperature and other symptoms, and their hands should be sanitized.
Up till now, more than 3000 doctors are in isolation. The number of patients is increasing day by day, and the burden on hospitals and healthcare workers is also increasing. There is a shortage of beds in hospitals for corona patients, and due to this reason, hospitals are refusing to take new patients.
The PMA demanded the Federal Government, Provincial Governments, and private hospitals’ management to take extra care in saving the lives of doctors, and for that, every hospital should allocate a few beds for doctors. The Government should take immediate steps to protect doctors and ensure the provision of an uninterrupted supply of PPEs for doctors.
The PMA requested doctors to take care of themselves, refrain from examining patients without wearing PPEs. The life of a doctor is very important for the nation during this difficult time. They should avoid shaking hands. They should also avoid going to any functions.
The PMA also requested the public to follow SOPs strictly. Wear a mask whenever you go out, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands or sanitize after regular intervals.
The PMA appealed to the Government to implement SOPs strictly. We believe that COVID-19 has already spread violently in the community through both large and small gatherings. If the Government fails to implement SOPs strictly, then nobody will be safe from this fatal disease.