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Prof Saeed calls for lockdown, curfew to deal with COVID-19

National

March 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Eminent specialist Prof Dr Saeed Akhter, who conceived the excellent brainchild of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute (PKLI), has urged Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza to persuade the premier to lock down before it’s too late in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“I know you are struggling very hard to combat the menace of coronavirus in a very primitive healthcare system. I am prompted to speak to you after I spoke to an Italian friend who begged me to talk to the government to avoid what they are going through. They are going through a living hell,” Prof Akhter said in a message to Dr Mirza.

“My request to you is to lock down the country before it hits us so hard that we have nothing left to regret. If we haven’t learnt from the experience of China vs Italy, we haven’t learnt anything.”

The highly acclaimed professor said that given the socially irresponsible, casual and ill-disciplined behaviour of the nation, “We need to put curfew, bring army to control the crowd and put people in their houses and only open the curfew for few hours to get rations and daily supplies in a zone wise fashion, just like in a war situation.”

He said this is the biggest war “we will ever fight, and if we are behind the power curve, we will loose (sic) the war.” He added that the economic loss of lock down will be much smaller than spread of the disease with our meagre resources. “Since you are in the decision making position, please assert with the prime minister before it is too late.”

Prof Akhter served as Chairman, Department of Urology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Centre in Lubbock, Texas, USA. He then worked with Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, as Director of Transplant Surgery and Chairman of the Department of Surgery. He also served as a Visiting Professor in Transplant Surgery at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Yale University, USA.

He received 29 prestigious awards for his services in medical field and for bringing excellence to the field of research and education in Pakistan. He was honored with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistan government.

Dr Akhter is an active member of 16 professional organisations across the globe. Besides, he is founder and CEO of Pakistan Kidney Institute and Life Savers Foundation, Pakistan. He has extensive experience in education and research and has 43 publications related to various medical areas.