PMA’s hammering on the right nail

The spike in Covid 19 cases has put the government, despite its persistent initiatives, at a disadvantage on account of oblivious policy of Dr.Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Services towards the protection of healthcare providers. This has created a room for further hike in the now accelerated rate of local transmission of the viral pandemic, besides driving a wedge among the institutions that are making frantic efforts to contain it. He said that doctors and paramedics, who perform duty in Quarantine Centers and Isolation wards of hospitals, are entitled for personal protection equipment (PPE), particularly N 95 masks.

The increasing rate of local transmission of novel coronavirus infections and dearth of PPE have compelled the medical fraternity to ring the alarm bell of health sector collapse as large number of health providers have been tested positive of the virus. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has urged the government to change the restrictive policy on PPE entitlement, arguing that health providers in all departments of hospitals are vulnerable to this particular infection. PMA Secretary General, Dr. Qaisar Sajjad contended that the association had warned the government in January that situation could deteriorate, but their warning was not heeded by the government. He told that in Nishtar Hospital of Multan alone 38 healthcare providers, including 17 doctors have been tested positive of Covid 19. The total number of doctors and paramedics, who have been reported infected, is quite worrying. PMA’ call for provision of PPE to all healthcare providers is worth consideration.

The doctors and medical staff working in the causality department, pathology and radiology will also get exposed to coronavirus infection if they are not provided PPE. No authentic data of total number of would be infected people is not available. That is why local transmission of the virus is on the rise. If the preventive side is not taken care off, the existing therapeutic structure may fall like a house of cards. The three T’s model of South Korea, trace, test and treat is worth emulation.