ISLAMABAD: The number of coronavirus cases per day in the country has started dropping to the level recorded three months ago.
While the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) termed it a major success, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Tuesday advised the masses to strictly follow the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) to avoid re-emergence of the deadly virus.
Spokesman for the NHS ministry Sajid Shah, while talking to Dawn, said that 989 Covid-19 cases had been reported on May 3 in the country. “However, as many as 1,083 cases were reported on May 4. After that the number of cases remained in four digits, and on May 13 it surpassed the figure of 2,000 and reached 2,255. The number of cases increased to 3,039 on May 31, to 4,000 on June 3, to 5,000 on June 10 and to over 6,000 cases on June 12,” he said.
Mr Shah said the highest number of 6,825 cases was reported on June 14 and after that it started declining and on July 14 the number of cases dropped to less than 2,000.
The country reported 1,128 Covid-19 cases and 26 deaths over the past 24 hours, taking the national tally of cases to 276,043 and fatalities to 5,881. Overall, 242,436 patients have so far recovered.
Dr Zafar Mirza said at a media briefing that the number of coronavirus cases had reached the peak level last month and since then it has started declining. “It happened due to collective steps and efforts by all stakeholders. During the last six months communication of thousands of hours was made due to which attitude of people changed. As a surge was observed in cases on the occasion of Eidul Fitr, people need to understand that Eidul Azha should not be celebrated as normal Eids,” he added.
The SAPM advised the masses to avoid going to crowded places, reduce interaction with people and adopt precautionary measures at cattle markets and mosques during Eid prayers. “There are five things which everyone should remember — wear mask while going out of house, ensure social distancing, care about hygiene and wash hands, take care of senior citizens or aged people and be extra careful if you have an ill person in the house,” he said.
He said senior citizens and children should not be allowed to go for Eid prayers and at crowded places. “Pakistan has been passing through a sensitive time period and we should not forget that in a number of countries the virus was controlled but then it again re-emerged because people stopped taking precautionary measures. In Pakistan, cases have been reduced by 80 per cent and we can continue reducing cases by behaving with responsibility on the occasion of Eidul Azha and Muharram,” he said.
The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has expressed concern over higher mortality rate among Asian healthcare workers in the United Kingdom and Europe due to their exposure to frontline Covid-19 patient response teams on account of racial consideration.
The association has announced that it would raise the issue at the forums of the British Medical Association and World Medical Association.
In a statement issued after a meeting chaired by PMA Lahore president Prof Dr Ashraf Nizamani and participated by prominent health professionals, the association said it was unfortunate that the healthcare workers were being treated on the basis of colour of their skin.
It is worth mentioning that a survey of the UK’s National Health Services department showed that the mortality rate was higher in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) as compared to locals. Medical experts in Pakistan and the UK have alleged that the BAME are more vulnerable to the disease in Europe as they have been compelled to give more time to their work as compared to others.
PMA Lahore general secretary Prof Dr Shahid Malik, while talking to Dawn, said it was unanimously stated that there should be equal opportunities, duration of labour, etc, for all healthcare workers.
Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2020