Islamabad, March 1 | Due to the easing of most of the coronavirus restrictions across Pakistan, health experts have sounded alarm over a third wave of the pandemic if there was a resurgence of fresh cases, a media report said on Monday.
On Sunday, the country registered 1,176 new Covid-19 cases, which increased the overall tally to 581,365. The death toll currently stood at 12,896.
On February 24, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Covid relaxed most of the restrictions on commercial activities, schools, offices and other workplaces, allowing them to function at full strength.
Speaking to Dawn news on Sunday, Secretary General of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Qaisar Sajjad said: “We are living in a society where people do not follow the SOPs. They even laugh at those wearing face masks. We have already observed the results of lifting of restrictions in September last year when 100 to 200 daily cases were being reported, and within a month the government had to declare a second wave of coronavirus.”
He also said that the country’s response to Covid-19 vaccination was “very slow” and blamed the government for it.
Javaid Usman, a microbiologist, told Dawn news that the government was looking at the pandemic issue “with mere focus on country’s economic growth rather than public health”.
“Possibility of a third wave cannot be ruled out. We are giving another opportunity to virus to bounce back. We should not forget that now there are more than one variants of virus in Pakistan and they are more infectious and transmissible.
“It is not a good decision to lift restrictions as cases are continuously fluctuating and we have been observing sudden spikes.”
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Asad Umar has also warned of a third wave if the general public did not strictly adhere to the SOPs.