By: Dr. Roshneck Hameed Khan
It has been more than a year ago when Corona virus storm hit the lives of human beings and disturbed all the living standards, economy, and ecosystem worldwide. There are millions of mortalities and uncountable infected individuals across the globe. Positivity ratio is continuously increasing day by day. COVID-19 outbreak is the prime global health catastrophe and leading challenge to the universe. It is an enclosed RNA virus that is undeniably present in humans and animals. Ideally, the immeasurable spreading and correlated health risks of the diseases make it essential pathogen. Simultaneously, according to the course of action the illness spread from individual to individual and has made it universal threat. As a result this crown-like appearance virus has taken the lives of many. Primarily, the virus is not for any specific age but all ages are at risk of getting the illness. Humans types of coronavirus are linked to clinical symptoms that is changing from it’s first wave to third wave. People mostly affected by the droplet of virus in the air as by coughing or sneezing by symptomatic individuals and also from touching contaminated environment. It shows that the virus remain active in surfaces that individuals are likely to touch on daily basis.
From the very initial days the Government of Pakistan is taking all the measures against the virus to provide and ensure the responsibilities of the state for their people and the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Pakistan presented a plan i:e National Action Plan for Preparedness and Response to COVID-19 Disease in Pakistan. The aim of this plan was to control the spreading of virus and government also take stringent actions like they designed special health care centers, vaccination centers, laboratories for testing , lockdown (to reduce gathering) and awareness program to control the spread of deadly virus. If medical facilities improved then it will not be difficult to control the transmission of viruses and the treatment of patients. Pakistan is a developing country where the financial position is not better as compare to other developed countries. The current situation of Pakistan is not satisfactory because with the ongoing new wave of virus more positive cases are reported and the high numbers of cases and deaths have been identified on daily basis. During this wave primarily in healthcare centers mostly individuals present with negative laboratory reports but their chest-X-Ray and CT (high resolution computed tomography) imaging are abnormal and sometimes their laboratory tests and x ray both are negative but the patient have the symptoms of COVID-19 pneumonia, this is the reason, that it is the most severe wave & leads to critical condition and also has the highest infected rate and death ratio of about 201 deaths in a single day in the country is recorded in third wave of COVID-19. Research shows that the previous wave of virus has a development period of 2 to 14 days but this current wave exceed even more than previous days. Earlier, Center for Diseases Control and Prevention has developed criteria to use for a person under investigation. The clinical features of third wave vary including fever, headache, loss of smell sensation, loss of taste, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, muscle ache, weakness, drowsiness etc. Ideally, if an individual is under investigation, immediate control and management measures are commenced. With ongoing worsening situation of COVID-19 new SOPs have been announced by National Command and Operation Center.
Schools with over positivity rate are closed till Eid. Markets to be closed at 6pm. Indoor and outdoor dining banned till Eid; only takeaway and delivery to be allowed. Office timings limited to 2pm. 50 percent of staff to be allowed in offices.
COVID-19 catastrophe caused damage to humans and nature. Our neighbor country India recorded its highest daily corona virus death ratio since the pandemic began, and India is the first country that records more than 400,000 new cases in a single day. The crisis started on April and shows no signs of abating. Many big and small hospitals in India are relying on daily oxygen supplies but they are not get enough to keep some backup in case of any emergency. The oxygen shortage crisis comes as COVID-19 cases continue to surge. Many Indian health care professionals seek help from the world. Apart from all the issues between two countries Pakistan will support India during this critical time
On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the Pakistan army to assists the law enforcement agencies SOPs for controlling the spread of the coronavirus. He also said “We have been asking people to follow precautionary measures. But we have seen that people have become careless.” If proper SOPs are not followed then Pakistan may face the same situation as India does currently.
If our circumstances become the same as India, then government will have to close down many areas of Pakistan and this is not good for the country economy and the poor suffer the most.
Prime Minister also added, Pakistani government is making all out efforts to procure vaccines and government have asked China, but their demand is also quite large. There is a shortage in the rest of the world.” Even if we get the vaccines today, it will take at least a year for them to have an impact, he said, reiterating that half the problem is solved when wearing face masks. He hoped that once the nation starts following SOPs, the number of cases would decrease.
In the holy month of Ramadan as Pakistan was the only country which had kept mosques open last year and still open this year but the main thing is to precautionary measures. If nation follow these guidelines, then we will be able to celebrate Eid-ul-fitr with our loved ones. But if we don’t follow the SOPs then we will face a difficult situation in the upcoming months.
Simultaneously, Special Assistance to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said that during the first wave of COVID-19 the healthcare system was under stress and almost 4600 patients were on Oxygen but with spreading of virus their numbers increasing and this put pressure on healthcare system and healthcare professionals. He also said that Pakistan’s oxygen capacity was currently under stress as around 90 percent was being utilised of which 80 percent was being used by the healthcare sector. Our whole nation has to follow SOPs in order to protect oneself and their surroundings.
However, according to a report, recently in Karachi some foreigners reported with the South African and Brazilian Coronavirus variants and have been detected in the country, raising fears of putting a further strain on its already overwhelmed healthcare system. The Brazilian and South African strains of the virus have a higher mortality rate, and the efficacy of the vaccine is not that significant against them and the spread and mortality rate of these variants is very high.
If regaining from COVID-19 pneumonia is ever lasting then our planet is going to be more resilient and we must have to plan and prepare towards recovery. For recovery to become a reality, we require national unity in the country. The Director General of World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) stated that national unity is the key in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. All provinces, regardless of their political differences, must be on the same page when it comes to greater hood of the country.
The right step should be taken to control the situation is staying at homes, social distancing, using sanitizers, face mask when going outside. It is hoped that as a united nation and by taking precautionary measures we will overtake the COVID-19.
By: Dr. Roshneck Hameed Khan