PMA raises concerns over rise in Covid-19 cases

Updated 19 Sep 2020

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The association stated people in Pakistan did not follow SOPs and many recently opened educational facilities had been found to be flouting preventive guidelines.  — Reuters
The association stated people in Pakistan did not follow SOPs and many recently opened educational facilities had been found to be flouting preventive guidelines. — Reuters

KARACHI: Seeing an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan over the past two days, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has warned that the country might see a relapse of the coronavirus public health crisis if people continued to ignore standard operating procedures (SOPs) against the disease.

It also called upon the government to ensure strict implementation of SOPs, especially at public sector institutions.

“The National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) has reported 750 cases of new infections with nine deaths in two days. In addition, a large number of cases are being reported at educational institutions, which have just resumed their academic activities,” a PMA press release issued on Friday said.

Explaining the reasons behind the resurgence of Covid-19 cases, the association stated people in Pakistan did not follow SOPs and many recently opened educational facilities had been found to be flouting preventive guidelines.

So far, 35 academic facilities have been closed down across the country for violation of SOPs.

“Given these circumstances, the association believes that the situation can again turn serious, if the number of patients continued to grow that would ultimately put pressure on limited health facilities and medical staff. So far, the country has lost 126 health professionals to Covid-19.”

Asks govt to ensure strict implementation of safety guidelines, particularly at public sector institutions

The association emphasized that since no treatment was available for Covid-19, it’s important that compliance was ensured to preventive guidelines including maintaining hand hygiene, ensuring social distancing and wearing face masks at public spaces.

“All provincial education departments should postpone opening of classes scheduled for Sept 23 whereas the authorities concerned should carefully analyse the situation at educational institutions that have been opened. Children have been found to be less vulnerable to Covid-19 but they can be a source of disease transmission,” it added.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2020