Alarming rise in Coronavirus cases

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REPORTS emanating from across the country speak of a steep rise in the spread of Coronavirus ever since the Government announced total lifting of restrictions late last month.

In view of a 30% increase in cases, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), a representative body of health professionals, has urged the government to immediately impose the restrictions to avoid chances of a third wave of the virus.

It has also alleged that players of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) contracted the virus due to negligence in adopting preventive measures and increasing the number of spectators.

The full impact easing of restrictions on commercial activities, schools, offices and other workplaces would become clear during the next few days but the information so far available suggests a dramatic rise in infections.

The NCOC data showed that there were 1,176 cases on Feb 27 and 1,163 on March 1, but the number suddenly surged to 1,388 on March 2 and reached 1,519 on March 4.

Health professionals are rightly complaining that restrictions have been eased merely in consideration of economic benefits and under pressure from interest groups, ignoring the negative impact of the decision on the health and life of the citizens.

The situation is likely to deteriorate further as response to vaccination drive is very poor due to wrong perception and propaganda, which needs to be countered through the media.

However, it may also be pointed out that the Government itself is to be blamed for the poor response to the campaign as it first decided that Sinopharm vaccine would not be administered to people over the age of 60 because of health complications.

But this policy was reversed in a dramatic manner on Friday when the DRAP approved its emergency use for people over 60 as well, citing data from other countries, which amounts to putting the older population at risk.

It seems the decision is not based on scientific or medical evidence but motivated by political consideration in view of hesitation by health workers and others who are not willing to get the jabs.

The policy of the Government would create more confusion and resistance to the much-needed vaccination.

There should absolutely no discrimination as to who should get what vaccine and the vaccination campaign can pick up pace if a beginning is made from the top as has been done in most of the countries.

 

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