Karachi, 22 April 2021: Expressing serious concern over growing incidence of Covid-19 during its third wave in Pakistan, health experts demanded of the federal government on Friday April 22, to expedite the vaccination process throughout the country, saying vaccination centres should remain open even after Iftar during Ramazan.
They asked the government o involve the private sector in the vaccination process and facilitate them in importing vaccines in a bulk quantity so that 70 per cent of the population could be inoculated and the Covid-19 threat dealt with.
Health experts, including senior doctors, students and scientists, wondered about the attitude of the government and almost all segments of the society in Pakistan which, amid the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, was further being pushed to one of its worst health crises because of the regulatory bodies’ failure to implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) as well as due to the irresponsible attitude being shown by the society.
They warned that if people from all walks of life, including traders, failed to follow the SOPs and continue ignoring the warnings of the health professionals, there would be no other option left but to impose a complete lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus and save the health system from a total collapse.
The alarms bell was raised by the health experts associated with Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA). They claimed that hundreds of doctors and paramedics had lost their lives due to Covid-19 in the country and it would be almost impossible to convince the serving ones to continue their job amid serious ignorance and violations of the SOPs by people.
“We need to understand that vaccination is the only and key exercise that can save our country to a large extent from this global challenge,” said Dr Abdullah Muttaqi, the president of PIMA, while addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club with his colleagues and senior members.
“We are facing another wave of the Covid-19, which is proving dangerous. We are running out of space and beds at our leading health facilities in other parts of the country. In this situation, we a need two- pronged strategy –- fast-paced vaccination and implementation of SOPs.”
Prof Sohail Akhtar, a prominent pulmonologist associated with Indus Health Network (IHN) and former president of PIMA, said the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic was so huge that the government in countries like Pakistan could not meet it alone, and ultimately they would have to take the private sector on board to achieve the desired results.
“The science proves that we can feel safe from the coronavirus only when 70 per cent of our population gets vaccinated,” he said.
“This is only possible through a massive vaccination campaign. We have witnessed that the vaccination has slowed down in Ramazan, but it should continue uninterrupted and the vaccination centres should be opened even after Iftar.
“Similarly, the private sector should also be invited to assist in this regard. Several welfare organisations, including Al-Khidmat Foundation, have offered their services and the government must consider it seriously.”