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Medics for adopting Chinese model to contain coronavirus

By Our Correspondent
March 25, 2020

LAHORE: The medical fraternity has called for adopting Chinese model rigorously to control coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

In a joint declaration issued after a meeting here at the University of Health Sciences (UHS), Tuesday, representatives of eight organisations, including Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM), Institute of Public Health (IPH), University of Education (UoE), Pakistan Society of Food Scientists and Technologists (PSFST), Pakistan Pediatric Association (PPA), Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), and UHS, pledged that prevention was the only solution to get out of prevalent global pandemic status.

“There are five levels of prevention: health education, personal protection by hygiene, social distancing, washing hands and equipment, etc., self-isolation, safe distance, and avoidance of assemblies”, the declaration read.

The declaration also stressed the need of improving body immune system by incorporating high protein food items such as milk, chicken, meat, fish and eggs in our daily diet. The statement also called for ensuring a more significant role of various scientific organisations in government policy-making regarding disease management and rehabilitation strategies.

The declaration was signed by UHS VC, Prof Javed Akram, PMA president, Prof Muhammad Ashraf Nizami, PSIM general secretary, Dr Somia Iqtadar, IPH dean, Prof Zarfashan Tahir, UoE VC, Prof Talat Naseer Pasha, PSFST general secretary, Dr Muhammad Nasir, PPA president, Prof Masood Sadiq and PAFP president, Dr Tariq Mahmood Mian.

Talking to media on this occasion, UHS VC, Prof Javed Akram said that in late January, after a sluggish — and problematic — initial response, the government of mainland China put in place unprecedented containment and social distancing measures.

“But the restrictions seemed to have worked to contain the spread of Covid-19 in China: the number of new cases reported every day is now consistently much lower than it was a few weeks ago”, he added.

He accepted that amid the crisis, and despite a second wave of infections in Asian countries, South Korea continued to lead the way in containing the spread of Covid-19, with one of the lowest casualty rates in the world.

“The reason is the Koreans acted fast to produce tests and the country now has enough to screen thousands of people a day. They made it all free and once they identified people, they put them into quarantine. We, however, cannot afford this”, he said.