KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has been raising its voice from day one for taking preventive measures to control the coronavirus (COVID-19), but unfortunately, the standard operating procedure (SOPs) have not been implemented.
Secretary-General, Dr S M Qaisar Sajjad, Pakistan Medical Association (Centre), said that the PMA had warned the government to take appropriate steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the country. Unfortunately, the SOPs are not being implemented strictly. We should remain thankful to God for his special blessings that we remained safe during the first wave of the coronavirus, and it did not face the horrible situation that was faced by many countries of the world.
“Now we are facing the second wave of the virus, which is more lethal than the first one. It has been observed that the infected patients are presenting with more serious symptoms, and more deaths are being reported due to sheer negligence on the patients’ part. We regretfully say that even after this much severity, the public is not adopting preventive measures strictly. The government seems to have failed in implementing strict SOPs in every field of life,” he added.
He lamented that the way large political and religious gatherings are continuously taking place, have contributed to the spread of the epidemic drastically. Large numbers of doctors and paramedics have also been infected with the coronavirus and are in quarantine because they are performing their duties without PPEs. Moreover, they are not following SOPs properly. The government has failed to provide PPEs to healthcare workers. If the situation worsens, most healthcare workers will be unable to treat patients as they will be in quarantine.
Dr Qaisar Sajjad said that the burden of disease at corona designated hospitals is increasing day by day; almost 90 to 95 percent of the beds have been occupied. The number of positive corona cases and deaths is on the rising. If the government does not tackle the situation properly, then more doctors and paramedics will be affected, and we can face a shortage of doctors in hospitals.
He informed that although the government is conducting fewer corona tests, there should be at least 25000 tests conducted daily in each province, as we have already demanded. The testing capacity should be increased and should be done free of cost all over Pakistan, and the government should pay private labs.
“The PMA believes that if the number of cases rises with the same speed, then the government will have no choice except to impose a strict lockdown. We again request the government to form a uniform policy against the coronavirus and implement it sternly across Pakistan. The government should also bring laws to fine and punish people who are not following SOPs.”
He said that the PMA believes that the government should impose strict SOPs at large gatherings, and if the government cannot implement SOPs, then these gatherings should be banned. The government and the public should understand that the vaccine against the coronavirus will not be available for the next 6 to 12 months. Till then, the only available vaccine for the coronavirus should be used, and that is a mask. We request all to wear a mask whenever they go out in public.
He demanded the government to provide PPEs to all healthcare workers immediately to protect their lives and increase facilities in hospitals for corona patients’ management.