KARACHI: The Pakistan Medical Association has expressed its surprise over the government’s decision to reopen all sectors at the same time.
In a statement issued here, it said that the government had announced to open almost all sectors in the country from Aug 8, which the PMA described as a “decision in haste”.
According to the government announcement, schools and marriage halls would also reopen in September.
The PMA said that while the government was opening all sectors for the betterment of the people, it was necessary to save the people from the coronavirus as well.
“We are still under quarantine period for monitoring corona cases after Eidul Azha. And after five to six days we will be able to know how many new cases have emerged after Eid. We believe that the government has taken this decision in haste because our upcoming festivals and important events like Independence Day, Muharram and Rabi al-Awwal are very close. This decision should have been made after these dates,” the PMA said in the statement.
“Majalis, processions and religious gatherings would be held in Muharram and Rabi al-Awwal. And it has been observed that 80 to 85 per cent people do not follow SOPs nowadays. Even in the government offices people do not adopt preventive measures,” the PMA added.
It said that it was the responsibility of the government to implement SOPs strictly.
“It is appreciable that the government will review the situation before reopening schools. We suggest that corona test (antibodies test) of all the staff, including van drivers and attendants, is done before reopening of educational institutes because one infected person can spread the disease to the whole institution.”
Moreover, it is suggested that educational institutes are reopened stepwise and primary and pre-primary classes are reopened last.
Other countries eased their lockdowns and opened different sectors at a time when their cases decreased. But now again cases have increased in the second phase in countries like the United States, UK, Brazil, Australia, China and South Korea, the statement added.
“It is a fact that the number of cases of coronavirus and number of deaths are decreasing in Pakistan from the month of July, but unfortunately as per our information, the number of cases are increasing in Skardu, Gilgit and other nearby areas. We are scared that our graph may increase again. It could increase the burden on our hospitals and healthcare workers like it happened after Eidul Fitr.”
According to a PMA report, 101 doctors and 24 paramedics have died during this war against coronavirus.
The PMA once again requested the people to follow SOPs and continuously adopt preventive measures.
Wear mask, keep social distance, wash or sanitise hands, avoid going out and avoid going into crowds, it said.
“PMA believes that the government should feel its responsibility and implement the SOPs strictly. The government should maintain economic activities and should also keep the public safe from coronavirus.
“We hope that it doesn’t turn out that deadly virus is eliminated from the world, but continues to exist in Pakistan.”
Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2020