Coronavirus situation will exacerbate if govt doesn't intensify testing: Dr Atta-ur-Rahman

Web Desk
March 29, 2020

Chairman of the premier's task force on science says COVID-19 has brought even nations like the United States 'to its knees'.

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Chairman of Prime Minister's National Task Force on Science and Technology Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman. —

Chairman of Prime Minister's National Task Force on Science and Technology Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman said on Sunday that he forsees the coronavirus situation getting worse in the country if the government does not ramp up testing of suspected patients.

"The government should carry out testing for 30,000-40,000 patients on a daily basis. So far we see merely 2,000-3,000 being tested," he said, in a conversation with the media.

"The data coming in of patients across the country is not indicative of the true picture. The real number of patients is much higher."

Dr Rahman said that under the supervision of Lahore's University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram, a series of clinical trials of a few drugs will begin next week.

He said that the form the disease has taken in Pakistan will become evident in the next 10 days.

Reiterating the need for testing, Dr Rahman said that the disease is "rapidly spreading like wildfire" and had brought even nations like the United States "to its knees".

Speaking of the need for stringent containment measures to defeat the spread of the virus, he said that people who are leaving their homes without a good reason "should be thrown into jails".

"If we don't take strict action now, things could get out of hand," he said.

While praying that he is proven wrong, Dr Rahman cautioned that things will get much worse than we can anticipate and once more emphasised on the need for stricter quarantine measures and greater testing capacity to be implemented by the government.

'Testing should be free, widely available'

Meanwhile, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that the government needs to widen the scope of testing.

"We should be able to test every person and for this we will need a concrete action plan," said Shehbaz.

He demanded that the test be made available for free and coronavirus patients in hospitals must immediately be kept in separate facilities.

The PML-N leader said wedding halls, schools, colleges and even mosques can be used for quarantining patients.

He also demanded that the government provide true facts regarding how many had been tested. Moreover, he called for more stringent enforcement of social distancing measures.

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