Pakistani health experts are expecting a steep rise in already rising coronavirus cases in the country in days to come following the ease of lockdown restrictions, with crowds of people approaching into markets and public places.
Due to ease of lockdown many markets, and shopping areas in the capital Islamabad, commercial capital Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, and other cities, packed with shoppers, who hardly bothered to follow precautions and are continuously rushing towards public places without fear of getting exposed to the virus.
Many shopkeepers, and their shoppers, including women carrying small kids, were not even wearing face masks.
Pakistan further relaxed coronavirus restrictions to open small markets and shops across the country despite a sharp rise in cases.
“What I have seen in the past two days, worries me a lot. Citizens have bulldozed all the precautions,” said Dr. Seemi Jamali, the head of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center in Karachi, one of the country’s largest health facilities.
“If this continues unchecked, I am afraid we will be heading towards the herd immunity in days to come, We are already getting more serious patients than before. It would go even worse, and we would lose more precious lives in case of the herd immunity,” she warned.
Dr. Qaisar Sajjad, the secretary-general of Pakistan Medical Association — a nationwide body of medical professionals — endorsed Jamali’s views expecting a sharp rise in a number of COVID-19 cases after a couple of weeks.
“I do not want to say, but the current scenario would lead us to the herd immunity,” Sajjad said.”The rise in COVID-19 cases means more severe patients who would require ventilators and intensive care facilities, which we, unfortunately, do not have,” he added.
Naazish Roshan Lakhani, an infection control coordinator at Dow University of Health Sciences Hospital Karachi, said “Citizens are not cooperating with us. They are not following the precautions. They have no idea how much our health system is overburdened due to this pandemic,” Lakhani told Anadolu Agency, citing the crowds of shoppers at markets.
Acknowledging that the people across the country were not following the government’s guidelines, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Tuesday warned the restrictions could be reimposed if precautions did not adhere.