Prevention termed best way to tackle virus
Religious communities are fully cooperating with the authorities to ensure social distancing
ISLAMABAD: With the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic infecting at least 8,418 people and claiming 176 lives across the country, prevention is the key to dealing with this global healthcare crisis effectively as the existing healthcare structures cannot bear the burden of the influx of infected patients beyond a certain limit.
This was suggested by experts and health practitioners on Monday during an online policy dialogue on ‘Covid-19 Pandemic: Challenges of Health care system of Pakistan’. The dialogue had been organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and representatives from healthcare departments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and supply chain markets participated in the dialogue.
Dr Samreen Sarfraz, from the Indus Hospital Karachi, said that healthcare professionals fighting on the frontlines in the pandemic lack adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Health workers are working in double shifts and are highly vulnerable to the disease,” she said, adding that it is unfortunate that the social distancing guidelines are being violated and religious congregations are being allowed. This, she warned, could be the recipe for a huge disaster.
Harvard Medical School’s Dr Majid Shafiq said that even hospitals in the developed countries are facing situations such as a shortage of staff.
He said that the extraordinary situation demands extraordinary measures, adding that the best option was to minimise human to human exposure at every level.
Religious communities, including Muslim prayer leaders in the US, are fully cooperating with the authorities to ensure social distancing, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2020.