President Dr Arif Alvi has said the government’s effective Covid-19 strategy, including the policy of smart lockdown, played a major role in the country’s economic survival and the realization of (around 4%) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth despite various challenges.
The president expressed these views while addressing the inaugural session of a three-day 2nd International Conference of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine with a theme of “Evidence Based Medicine”.
The president said, “Improvement in all micro and macro-economic indicators endorsed the numbers of GDP growth, which were disputed by some political forces.”
Dilating upon the government’s successful strategy to deal with the challenge of COVID-19, President Alvi said Prime Minister Imran Khan by opposing complete lock-down, adopted the policy of compassion to protect the poor and low income groups from the economic effects of the pandemic.
He said the National Command and Control Center (NCOC) opted for an evidence based policy of smart lockdowns with the help of National Database and Registration Authority.
The president said despite criticism from various segments of the society, the mosques in Pakistan remained open with the implementation of COVID Standard Operating Procedures.
He said with the blessings of Allah Almighty and the measures taken by the present government, the situation of coronavirus in Pakistan was far better than other countries, including India, where the people were lying under tents along the roads with oxygen cylinders.
President Alvi appreciated the efforts and achievements of PSIM in the field of medical education, awareness and research in a short period of two years, including their initiative of opening up free medical facilities namely “Aapka Clinic” for the poor and deserving in Lahore, Hyderabad and Karachi.
About increase in the incidence of hepatitis in Pakistan at around 8.7%, the president said there was a need to follow the model of Egypt, which had reversed the situation of the disease from 14% to almost zero.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Nausheen Hamid, in her remarks on the occasion, mentioned the present government’s health card scheme under its universal health coverage initiative and said the government was committed to provide health facilities to the masses.
She said the presence of President Dr Arif Alvi in the conference depicted the government’s commitment towards the health sector.
PSIM Chairman Prof Aftab Mohisn, President Dr Javed Akhtar and Secretary General Dr Sonia Iqtadar also addressed the session, and besides, highlighting various activities and achievements of the PSIM, also spoke on different issues relating to the medical field.