KARACHI: The government has announced the opening of almost all sectors in Pakistan from 8th August, which were shut down to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the announcement, schools and marriage halls would open in September. The government is opening all sectors for the betterment of the people; it should save the people both from the coronavirus pandemic and the worsening economic conditions.
Secretary-General, Pakistan Medical Association (Centre), Dr S M Qaisar Sajjad, in his statement, said it is appreciable that the government will review the situation before opening schools. We suggest that all the staff, including van drivers and attendants, should be tested for corona before the opening of educational institutes. One infected person can spread the disease to the whole institution. Moreover, they suggested opening educational institutes stepwise; primary and pre-primary classes should be opened in the last.
He said the PMA is surprised over the decision to open all sectors at the same time. We are still monitoring corona cases after Eid-ul-Azha; after five to six days, we will know how many new cases have emerged after Eid. We believe that the government has taken this decision in haste because upcoming festivals like Independence Day, Muharram, and Rabi-ul-Awal are very close. This decision should have been made after these festivals.
He said religious gatherings would be held during Muharram and Rabi-ul-Awal. It has been observed that 80 to 85% of the people do not follow SOPs nowadays. Even in government offices, people do not adopt preventive measures. It is the responsibility of the government to implement SOPs strictly.
Dr Qaisar explained that other countries eased their lockdowns and opened different sectors after their cases decreased. Now cases have increased in the second phase in countries like the United States, UK, Brazil, Australia, China, and South Korea.
“It is a fact that the number of coronavirus cases and the number of deaths are decreasing in Pakistan from July, but unfortunately, as per our information, the number of cases is increasing in Skardu, Gilgit, and other nearby areas. We are scared that our graph may not increase again. It could increase the burden over our hospitals and healthcare workers as it happened after Eid-ul-Fitr. According to the PMA’s report, 101 doctors and 24 paramedics lost their lives in this war against coronavirus,” he added.
He requested the people to follow SOPs and continuously adopt preventive measures. Wear a mask, maintain social distancing, wash or sanitize your hands, avoid going out, and avoid crowds. The public should support the government in normalizing Pakistan’s economic conditions by continuing their jobs with honesty and maintaining SOPs, he said.