Wednesday September 22, 2021

Act now

July 29, 2021

The Delta variant of Covid-19 is spreading like wildfire in Karachi. The city’s largest public hospital has closed its OPDs amid an alarming surge in coronavirus cases. Karachi’s positivity rate is more than 20 percent, and it seems that the situation is not going to get any better. Even though there are large queues at vaccination centres, a large number of people are still not getting vaccinated. The Sindh government earlier announced that it would withhold the salaries of unvaccinated people. However, this announcement had only a little effect on people. Now, it has announced that it will block mobile phone SIMs of those who are still not vaccinated. The government has to do a lot of work to convince anti-vaxxers to get vaccinated. Also, it is important to note that there are so many people who have no idea how to get their registration done. In this regard, the media can play an effective role in run educational ads to guide people. Short videos can also be posted on social media to reach out to a wider audience.

We have already seen how the Delta variant hit India. There was a time when thousands of people ran from pillar to post in search of oxygen and a hospital bed. Pakistan’s healthcare infrastructure is already weak. We don’t want to see a situation where hospitals are forced to turn away critically ill patients. People must act responsibly and follow SOPs. The government should take more steps to vaccinate people (it should start a door-to-door campaign) and to ensure that all businesses and workplaces are following SOPs.

Hajra Zaidi

Karachi