QUETTA: Describing the sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country last week as alarming, the Young Doctors Association (YDA), Balochistan, on Sunday demanded imposition of a curfew for two weeks in the province to contain the virus and save lives.
Speaking at a press conference, YDA president Dr Yasar Achakzai expressed concern over the increase in Covid-19 cases in the province and said that the cases were increasing because the lockdown was not imposed in letter and spirit. He said giving relaxation in lockdown restrictions encouraged traders to open their businesses and people to gather in a large number in markets.
He said the situation was worsening and if strict measures were not taken it could go out of control.
YDA general secretary Dr Hanif Luni and other members of the association urged the government to take strict measures for imposition of the lockdown.
Dr Achakzai said people were not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously which was the main cause for its spread at the local level. The government should impose a strict curfew in Quetta and other districts of the province, he added.
He rejected the idea of a smart lockdown, saying that only a complete and strict lockdown could contain the spread of coronavirus.
He said if Covid-19 cases continued to increase in Balochistan there would be no space for patients in hospitals of the province which was already facing shortage of health facilities and medical equipment. He stressed the need for increasing the testing capacity of the province, saying that 300 to 400 coronavirus tests per day was not enough. The health department must increase testing facilities in the province.
The YDA president and other members appealed to people to follow the lockdown and stay at their homes for keeping themselves save from the deadly virus.
Dr Achakzai said many doctors and paramedics had become victim of Covid-19 while performing their duties and some of them had lost their lives in the line of duty. “Doctors, paramedics, nurses and other health workers who died of coronavirus should be declared martyrs as they have given their lives for saving the lives of others,” he said. He said so far over two dozen doctors, including lady doctors, had been infected by coronavirus. Five paramedics and other staffers were also suffering from the virus.
He said there was a lack of facilities in the province’s hospitals, adding that there was no oxygen facility for ventilators. He said the oxygen plant in Sheikh Zayed Hospital was not functional.