The government has warned people that the COVID-19 can be spread briskly during Ramadan, rendering the weakened health system incapable of accommodating all patients.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Saturday stated that the confirmed virus cases surged past 12,500 with more than 260 deaths.
“The trend observed on the first of Ramazan was not encouraging at all,” he said, adding that Covid-19 could rapidly spread during the holy month.
Mirza urged people to change their routine of visiting shops and mosques.
“Traditionally rush is observed at shops at iftar’s time. The situation on Saturday evening was not different than that of past years. People need to understand that if we don’t follow the precautionary measures, the situation may become worse. Pakistan is passing through a crucial, critical time when the disease can spread rapidly. I request the masses that they should change their routine of iftar, sehar and visiting mosques,” he said.
The PM’s adviser said doctors from across the country had held press conferences and expressed their concerns.
“I believe that doctors are aware of the situation of hospitals and our capacity issues. I request you not to go to the places of rush.”
He told the media that for doctors, the government had launched a website under the Yaran-i-Watan programme so that overseas Pakistani health professionals could register themselves to volunteer their services in the fight against Covid-19. “Prime Minister Imran Khan also tweeted introducing the website launch on Saturday,” he said.
A website (telehealth.gov.pk) had also launched for doctors to register themselves for telemedicine, the PM’s aide added.
About speculations that a vaccine was being made in Pakistan, Dr. Mirza said: “Pakistan is not manufacturing the vaccine, but a Chinese company has contacted us to become part of atrial of the vaccine. We have contacted the company for the documentation and we will take a number of steps, including addressing ethical issues, before allowing [the trial].
“However, it will take time and those who think that a vaccine will be available in a few months are not right”, he added.