KARACHI: Pakistan Doctors’ Association has demanded the government to impose strict lockdown restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club today, they said that introducing relaxations in the COVID-19 lockdown will cause a spike in the coronavirus cases in the country.
They said that the authorities should take responsibility and ban all kinds of congregational prayers otherwise the virus could spread in the next two weeks rapidly.
Pakistan Medical Association Secretary General Dr Qaiser Sajjad regretted that the severe COVID-19 lockdown in Sindh province, which was imposed by the provincial authorities successfully earlier, had “now become a joke just like in the rest of the country”.
He said the government did not have resources to provide even the personal protective equipments to the doctors and health workers, then “how it can provide the required resources to treat all the patients if numbers surge”.
Dr Sajjad urged that a severe lockdown needed to be imposed in order to limit the spread of the COVID-19. He revealed that it took a month for Pakistan to reach 1,000 cases, adding that after relaxations in the lockdown, the number had impaled.
Indus Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdul Bari said that nearly all facilities in the metropolis are full and added that the government’s decision to initiate relaxations in the COVID-19 lockdown had “angered and stressed doctors”.
He disclosed that in Pakistan, the number of patients under the age of 60 was higher compared to countries in the West. Dr Abdul Bari further said that in Sindh province alone, 162 health professionals had tested positive for COVID-19.
He said that while the doctors were fighting against the epidemic, they required the public to cooperate. He warned that if proper steps to curb the disease were not taken, hospitals will not have enough beds for sick people.
The press conference comes a day after the emergence of a letter, written by senior doctors to the government, urging it to review its decision to allow congregational prayers to be held in mosques and limit the congregations to 3-5 people as it had done previously in view of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Earlier, the government had granted conditional permission to hold congregational prayers–including Friday prayers and Taraweeh–during Ramzan after a consensus was reached between the government and clerics.