Finally, something for medical workers
Finally, months into the crisis, Prime Minister Imran Khan has found the time to take note of lack of safety measures for doctors and paramedical staff at the forefront of the war against the coronavirus and sought a comprehensive action plan from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Welcome as this help and attention is, it must still be noted that it came after a good number of health professionals were infected, at least 11 were killed, a lots of them held numerous strikes to get the attention of authorities. Sadly, the only kind of attention they got in the beginning was from the police, which baton charged and arrested a lot of protesting doctors in Quetta not too long ago. Fortunately, they were not beaten or arrested a little later when they were forced to stage a hunger strike in Lahore.
But now that the PM has taken notice and issued some orders around, hopefully this problem will no longer be a concern. Yet the doctors are still going to be far from perfectly safe. It’s no secret that they do not agree with the PM’s plan of lifting the lockdown so soon, since they know better than anybody else that cases will simply keep rising till some sort of vaccine is developed to treat the coronavirus. Till then it’s only a matter of controlling the number of cases any country registers. And Pakistanis just cannot be trusted with opening up completely at this point since they have displayed the unique ability of not taking the lockdown, or social distancing protocols, seriously at all. In fact, seeing Pakistani crowds in markets it seemed that the cure to the virus actually lay in getting out and mixing and mingling with everybody.
All this means doctors will have their hands full for quite a while. So the least the country can do is arm these warriors adequately. Just like no military command would ever send a special forces battalion to the front lines without necessary armour, the doctors have no business on this battlefield without foolproof protective equipment. But there’s more to the matter. Even when fully protected the doctors can do little about hospital space and other necessary equipment like ventilators at their disposal. Since opening up now means a pretty much confirmed rise in overall cases, the main concern now is enhancing quarantine and treatment facilities across the country. And that, alas, is not something that the doctors can do. As the government goes about reopening and justifying it, it must also give such factors ample consideration.
Markets continue to defy logic