Our doctors have sounded the alarm
Our doctors have sounded the alarm. At press conferences in Karachi and Lahore, separated by a day, prominent healthcare providers have warned that a significant increase, of 40%, in the number of coronavirus cases in the country has been observed over the previous five days. The doctors — from the Pakistan Medical Association, the premier representative body of medical practitioners, and the Young Doctors Association — have demanded a stricter lockdown alerting that the Covid-19 cases will continue to increase exponentially over the next four weeks, to the extent of chocking the already weak and vulnerable healthcare system in the country. Noted health experts and scientists — though not present at any of the press conferences — have added their strong voice to the call for stricter restrictions on unnecessary movements of people. Such experts include former federal minister for science and technology Dr Ataur Rehman; Vice Chancellor, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Dr Javed Akram; Head of Indus Hospital Karachi, Dr Abdul Bari; and others.
Latest figures on the coronavirus infections do substantiate the doctors’ concern: it took 46 days for the first 5,000 cases of the virus to emerge in the country, but it took only 12 days for this figure to get doubled. And, the number of deaths more than doubled — from 86 on April 11 to 220 only 12 days later. This is enough to indicate an exponential growth in the cases of the lethal virus. Our medical professionals are, thus, very rightly advising against congregating — whether at mosques or in the markets or at any other places. Their warnings constitute a strong possibility of things turning as severe as in China, Iran and European countries in case social distancing is not adopted in its true sense, most aptly under a strict lockdown. Unfortunately, the call from doctors does not go in sync with the counter-corona strategy adopted by a government that is terribly cash-strapped and is faced with a challenging conundrum of saving the lives of its people alongside protecting their livelihoods. Not an easy balancing act!
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2020.
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