KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) is satisfied with the latest coronavirus situation in Pakistan. Although the severity of the disease has decreased, and the number of cases has declined, many beds and ventilators are vacant in hospitals; we should not get complacent. The virus hit back in many countries, and the second wave was even more severe than the previous one. According to a very recent survey, the world has set a new record of 284,661 patients testing positive for the coronavirus in one day, which is very alarming.
Therefore, we should remain vigilant because corona still exists in Pakistan, and new cases are emerging daily. Many unreported cases still exist as people are not going for corona testing, and doctors are also diagnosing the ailment on clinical grounds. People have better awareness now, and they go into quarantine or isolate themselves immediately at home because of that there are less critical patients in Pakistan. The ICU and HDU beds at corona designated hospitals are mostly vacant.
According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), till now, 274,289 patients have been found positive for coronavirus, out of which 241,000 patients have recovered, and 5,842 people have lost their lives to the infection. Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health, in his latest statement, said that the rate of positive cases of coronavirus has decreased from 23% to 6-7%, and there has been an 80% decrease in the number of deaths.
We fear that due to our negligence, coronavirus cases may increase in the next two weeks after Eid. We should learn from our previous experiences. People neglected SOPs during Eid-ul-Fitr, and as a result, a miserably large number of patients were reported, and the death toll rose to an alarming extent.
The PMA suggested to the government to ensure the strict implementation of SOPs to control the coronavirus’s spread. It has been observed that the local administration is least bothered or helpless about enforcing SOPs in the cattle markets. Cattle vendors and buyers can be seen without masks, Children, elderly are visiting these markets without any fear and restriction, and nobody is being checked for fever at these markets’ entry points. This state of affairs is very alarming.
In this regard, the PMA appreciated the Islamabad administration for taking measures to enforce SOPs in cattle markets. The administration is conducting coronavirus testing of cattle vendors to reduce the chances of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the Capital Territory.
The PMA suggested that like Islamabad, SOPs should be implemented strictly in cattle markets across Pakistan to avoid the coronavirus spread.
Unfortunately, the government has failed to prevent small cattle markets from being established in different cities’ localities. People are gathering in crowds in these markets, which could spread the coronavirus further.
The PMA warns that the situation of COVID-19 could worsen during our upcoming festivals of Eid-ul-Azha, Independence Day, Muharram, and Rabi-ul-Awal if the government does not implement SOPs thoroughly and people do not follow the SOPs.
The PMA also suggested that all educational institutes should be opened after monitoring the severity of COVID-19. Corona testing (antibodies test) of all the staff, including van drivers and attendants, should be done before opening the educational institutes. One infected person can spread the disease to the whole institution. If these institutes are allowed to remain open, then the administration will have to follow SOPs. Social distancing, wearing masks, and regularly washing and sanitizing hands must be strictly implemented in all institutes. This is the right time for teachers to teach the primary and secondary level students to maintain hygiene at a personal and community level.