ISLAMABAD: Dr Javed Akram, a member of the Scientific Task Force on Covid-19, said that though several countries, including Israel, were struggling against new variants of coronavirus, they had controlled casualties by vaccinating 70 to 80pc of their population.
“On the other hand in Pakistan hardly 25pc population has been fully vaccinated. So the virus is more virulent for us and number of casualties is very high. To me positivity rate is not an accurate index of the crisis as it changes with increase and decrease in the number of tests,” he said.
Dr Akram, who is vice chancellor of the University of Health Sciences, said while new variants were more virulent, people wanted to spend their life according to their will instead of adopting precautions.
“So far around 190 mutations or variations have been observed, but coronavirus will keep on changing as there are 39,000 possible positions of mutation. As the virus has become four to five times stronger, precautionary measures should also be increased by four to five times. People should know that they can be infected by spending only 15 seconds with a Covid-19 patient and if one virus enters lungs, it can multiply to one billion viruses within 22 hours,” he said.
He advised the people to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest to avoid complications.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan satisfied with the country’s performance and says that collective response through the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) served the entire country.
Dr Sultan, speaking at a seminar on Covid-19, said Pakistan had successfully dealt with the pandemic by adopting a collective and science-based approach.
“We established the NCOC to have collective decisions so the response was coherent and coordinated. We linked laboratories with the government system to gather data on the disease on a daily basis. We arranged ventilators, medicines and oxygenated beds and ensured supply of oxygen as its demand increased by 66pc. We also took non-pharmaceutical interventions and enforced smart and targeted lockdowns. Moreover, cash amount was disbursed through Ehsaas Programme and then vaccination centres were established. Information technology was used due to which today we can say how many doses have been administered to a person,” he said.
Dr Sultan said as an infectious disease specialist, he believed that the approach of national decision-makers was scientifically correct. He urged masses to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.
According to NCOC data shared on Thursday, 3,012 new cases and 66 deaths were reported in a single day. The number of casualties, since the beginning of Covid-19, surpassed the figure of 27,000. The number of active cases was 76,581, out of which 5,590 patients were admitted to hospitals as of Sept 16.
Meanwhile, according to the National Disaster Management Authority, three million doses of Sinovac and one million doses of Sinopharm, procured by the NDMA, have reached Pakistan.