KARACHI: Expressing concern over the government’s decision to relax Covid-19 related restrictions, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Thursday warned that the coronavirus situation may worsen in the country as the vaccination campaign was moving at a slow pace.
It suggested that the restrictions shouldn’t be lifted till 70 per cent of the country’s population was vaccinated against coronavirus.
“The association is very much concerned over the government’s decision to relax Covid-related restrictions on commercial activities, schools, offices and other workplaces. It has granted permission for indoor wedding ceremonies and opening cinemas and shrines from March 15.
“This hasty decision may take us towards Covid-19 resurgence, increasing the risk for the third wave of coronavirus in the country,” the association stated.
It also criticised the decision of increasing the number of spectators attending the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches given the media reports about seven players testing positive for coronavirus, which forced the organisers to postpone matches.
Says curbs should only be lifted after 70pc of country’s population is vaccinated
“This is very unfortunate. This all happened due to negligence in adopting preventive measures for coronavirus. Players were seen meeting others freely and the number of spectators have also been increased in the stadium.”
The PSL tournament was postponed on Thursday.
Misconceptions about vaccine
The PMA was of the opinion that the government was not running the vaccination campaign seriously and called for initiating a media campaign aiming at busting myths and misconceptions about the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The media should highlight stories of healthcare workers who have got the vaccine shots so that others get the confidence. There should be messages about the vaccination campaign at prime time.
“The government should facilitate healthcare workers of the private sector and also the general practitioners (GPs). They are willing to get vaccinated but it appears that the government does not have data about GPs. This data should be gathered and maintained on a priority basis.”
The association also raised doctors’ concern over the Sinopharm vaccine, which is not recommended for people over 60 years of age, and said the government should share information about the vaccine it planned to import for people over 60.
It called upon healthcare providers to take the matter seriously and get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent infection from the deadly virus which has so far killed 189 doctors and 30 paramedics.
Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2021