‘Next three to four weeks critical’

By Hina Kiyani

ISLAMABAD: The next three to four weeks are very critical for Pakistan, said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Wednesday, as he briefed the media about the continuing impact of the coronavirus in the country.
“In the last 24 hours, we have received the highest number of deaths from COVID-19, 17, for the third time in Pakistan,” he said. Dr Mirza said that the spread of communicable diseases in Pakistan was high due to ignorance on the matter.
“We do not pay attention to the fact that communicable diseases are preventable,” he said. “Diseases spread despite efforts but a lot of things are under our control but since we don’t invest in it, we [ultimately] let diseases spread,” he added.
He said that guidelines are “notoriously neglected” in Pakistan. Dr Mirza said that SOPs and protocols “are like words to us and not concepts”.
“I think for the whole of the world, especially the developing world, the health sector will never be the same,” he said, adding that there had never been a moment in human history when there was so much focus on public health and disease prevention.
Dr Mirza said that Pakistan, including the world, was reeling from the economic impact of an infection.
“Do not take it as a mere infection only. It will have implications on our generation and the generations to come,” he said.