Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Fear of third Covid wave in Pakistan due to removing restrictions early

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With most of the Covid-related restrictions having been relaxed even with the lukewarm reaction of health workers to the government-run vaccination campaign, health experts fear a revival in the number of cases that may make the government declare a third covid wave in the country.


With 1,176 Covid cases reported in a single day, surveyed health professionals believe the government should prioritize public health over financial issues and advise authorities not to lift restrictions until after ensuring the population in place of 70pc present is vaccinated against the deadly disease.


As of February 24, the Covid National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) has largely eased restrictions on commercial activities, schools, offices, and other workplaces, allowing them to operate at full capacity.

Read more: Mirpur put under lockdown for a week since Monday


According to the guidelines, the deadline for commercial activities has been removed. And the requirement for 50% participation in employment has removed. Schools required to work a full five days a week. Permits to hold an indoor wedding ceremony and an open-air cinema and shrine are valid from March 15. The decision to allow dinner indoors will depend on the outcome of the March 10 review meeting. NCOC has also increased the number of spectators participating in Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches from 20 percent to 50 percent. Allowed full participation in playoffs with strict Standard Operating Instructions (SOPs). The Election Commission of Pakistan also has the right to hold local and cantonal council elections until late May or early June.

Doctors want the government to reconsider their decision and focus more on vaccinations. In the conversation, Secretary-General of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Dr. Qaisar Sajjad, “We live in a society where people don’t follow SEN. They even laugh at those who wear masks. We’ve seen the results of the restrictions being lifted last September when 100 to 200 cases were reported every day. And the government had to announce the second wave of coronavirus in a month,” he said.

“I believe the restrictions should be lifted after 70 people are vaccinated because only then can we get herd immunity. Just two weeks ago, three cases reported in Melbourne, Australia”. Even though all three had arrived on international flights, that was the entire city. Melbourne closed for five days. “It’s a pity that we lighten up more than 1,000 cases“.

Reaction to vaccination

Although he said the vaccination response in Pakistan very slow, the PMA secretary-general blamed the government, saying no one above cared to take the matter seriously.


“Actors are involved in vaccination campaigns, not well-known doctors”. How do you get medical advice from an actor? Also, your ad has shown during rush hour. We are currently seeing an ad that was bombed during a PSL match, but we didn’t see any vaccination ads during the season. “The data on health workers who were vaccinated previously was not disclosed. We do not know how many general practitioners, nurses, etc. have been vaccinated,” he said.


Due to the cold reaction to the vaccinations, Pakistan’s largest hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), has warned its staff about disciplinary action.


Pims’ joint executive director, Dr. Minhaj-us-Siraj said health workers, especially nurses, were slow to respond so he had no choice but to issue circulars to speed up vaccinations. “It is highly recommended that all registered Pims employees be vaccinated immediately. If not, the debtor will dealt with strictly according to the rules, ”said the circular.
Dr. Siraj said, “We are in a rush to vaccinate the health workers because we need to open an outpatient clinic. However, it seems the staff is not ready yet“.

Case can bounced back

Unfortunately, the government is only tackling the problem with a focus on the country’s economic growth rather than public health, said Dr. Jawaid Usman.


“The possibility of a third covid wave cannot ruled out. We are giving the virus a chance to recover. We must not forget that there is now more than one variant of the virus in Pakistan that is more contagious and contagious. Fortunately, they are very vicious like the previous man. However, lifting the ban is not a good solution because cases are always fluctuating and we are seeing sudden spikes, “he said.

Dr. Usman said the new variant of the virus, initially found in Britain, Brazil and South Africa, has quickly spread to 92 countries, including Pakistan. “We have eliminated social distancing at schools and PSL matches by requiring surgical masks to wear. Surgical masks are almost nothing compared to the size of the virus which can even pass through an N-95 mask,” added the microbiologist.


The first case of the new coronavirus disease reported in Pakistan on 26 February 2020. By June, the daily number of cases had increased to 6,000 cases. With severe limitations, cases began to decline. Soon after, the government lifted the restrictions, causing so many cases to re-emerge in October that authorities had to announce a second wave of the virus and impose restrictions. The NCOC lifted restrictions again on February 24, just weeks after the number of active cases started to decline.

The Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Assad Umar, warned in an interview with the media about a third covid wave if the masses do not strictly adhere to SOPs.

Covid cases rise in Islamabad

Meanwhile, Islamabad District Health Commissioner Dr. Zaem Zia said cases had risen again when the city reported 153 cases on Sunday. As of January 14, the number of cases in Islamabad did not exceed 150.


Available documents on cases in federal capitals show that the weekly positivity rate is 2.47. In the second week of January, it fell to 1.61. Next week, while in the first week of February there are only 1.57 pieces. However, the weekly positive rate started to increase again and rose to 2.65 in the last week of February (ie, 22-28 February).


An official at the Department of National Health Services, who asked not to identified, agreed it would not a sensible decision to lift the restrictions. “The government seems to be more focused on the economy than on public health. I fear that in a few weeks the situation could worsen and we may have to redispose the restrictions. Unfortunately, we have not had a positive response to the vaccination campaign and more than 100,000 health workers have been vaccinated so far”. We can only achieve herd immunity if more than 50 people get vaccines. “NCOC data shows 1,178 cases and 23 deaths were reported on the last day, for a total of 21,836 active cases and 1,994 Covid patients hospitalized across the country”.

Where are we in the Covid-19 pandemic?

Some questions are arises after seeing these conditions. Where are we in the Covid-19 disease? Will there be a third covid wave or even a fourth wave? Is our case stable or is it decreasing? In the case of compromised data, there are limits to our interpretation. But one thing is certain, there is a ripple phenomenon in this pandemic. Most of the countries are in the second wave and some are in the third covid wave. The United States can now ride the fourth wave.

Read more: One time vaccine of Johnson & Johnson against Covid approved by FDA

Another thing that is becoming clearer is that the sequential wave is always bigger than the previous one. This is true in both the United States and Great Britain. The large increase in numbers during the third covid wave was not only due to higher availability and access to tests. After each wave, the cases decreased, but things never returned to normal. Why was the third wave so devastating in many countries? This shows that while each country had a less geographic area of ​​the virus, the virus now has more territory to spread than the first wave. It also shows how seriously we are taking public health measures, even as the number of cases is decreasing. Claiming an early victory for SARS-CoV-2 could be suicide.

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