KARACHI: Dr Mahnoor Farzand, a flight lieutenant in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), died of Covid-19 early on Sunday morning, taking the tally of doctors falling victim to coronavirus so far in Sindh to 77.
Since Feb last year, 220 doctors in the country have died of coronavirus.
According to Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Dr Mahnoor was eight months pregnant and under treatment for Covid-19 at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Malir Cantonment for a week.
“Her father, also tested positive for Covid-19, is currently under intensive care at the CMH,” said Dr Qaiser Sajjad of PMA, adding that Dr Mahnoor had not got herself vaccinated against the pandemic.
‘She did not get herself vaccinated due to pregnancy’
“It’s extremely unfortunate and painful that we have lost two lives to coronavirus. Perhaps, the doctor did not opt for Covid-19 vaccination due to her pregnancy.”
Asked about the international guidelines on Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy, Dr Sajjad said initially experts had opposed vaccination for pregnant women and lactating mothers. But, later these guidelines changed following an analysis of a lot of scientific data on this subject that had been done over months.
“Now, experts believe that Covid-19 vaccination is safe for pregnant women and lactating mothers and strongly recommend it for both,” Dr Sajjad said, urging all medical healthcare providers to get vaccinated at the earliest.
He pointed out that he personally talked to the country’s top gynaecologists on this matter and the majority favoured vaccination even in the first three months of pregnancy.
“While there were some who believed that it’s better not to get vaccinated against coronavirus in the first trimester, experts also strongly suggested Covid-19 vaccination in pregnancy in later months.”
According to the PMA representative, the national data shows that 80 to 85 per cent of people falling victim to coronavirus are those who have not got vaccinated against the infection whereas vaccinated individuals are contracting the infection in much smaller numbers with less severity of the disease.
“We see a similar trend internationally. But, despite this evidence and loss of life, there is a section of society who isn’t willing to get the vaccine jab. I appeal to these people not to endanger themselves and their loved ones.”
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2021