Corona SOPs on Eid-ul-Azha

July 28, 2020

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Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has said that the sale of sacrificial animals and establishment of cattle markets within cities are strictly banned across the country. He said that special preparations have been made in consultations with all stakeholders to implement Standard Operating Procedure during Eid Days. Pandemic will further spread if SOPs not followed by the citizens. SOPs should also be followed during offering of Eid prayers. The special assistant also urged the people to prefer collective sacrifice arranged instead of individual fulfillment of the ritual to maintain social distancing and contain the spread of coronavirus.

One of the biggest problems brought about by the coronavirus pandemic is the inability of medical professions, for one reason or another, to provide help to patients suffering from other diseases. It’s not just the matter of being overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. Indeed, some countries have had such high rates of infections and deaths that entire medical systems came to their knees and had just no time or space to deal with any other matter. Then there was the risk of infection for other patients, which made them stay away from hospitals even in cases of serious sickness.

But the need to keep people away from each other has had a devastating effect on doctors’ ability to treat patients. Children that require regular blood transfusion, for example, suffered to no end because even normal blood donors tended to stay well away from any medical facility all this time. Then there were supply shortages because of a world in lockdown and almost zero trade, which led doctors in Pakistan to fear an outbreak of vaccine treatable diseases as well. Polio comes as the best example for Pakistan, since we are now one of the only two countries left in the world that have not been able to finish off this disease. It goes to the government’s credit that it placed resuming the anti-polio drive on such a high priority after the lockdown. One reason of course is that the figures of the last two years have been simply appalling, and there is a very urgent need to get all children vaccinated before the trend gets any worse.

Pakistan, fortunately, is among only a handful of countries that have been able to reassert control over the situation. The rate of the spread here is far lower than much of the rest of the world. Now if the coming Eid holidays can be spent responsibly, there is no reason not to expect it to reduce even further. This puts us in a better position than others at the moment to cater to the needs of non-coronavirus cases as well. All medical professionals have been the true heroes of this war and must be appreciated as such, but before they have yet another emergency on their hands the government must make sure that all supply lines of all essential medicines are kept working at all times. We have been through the worst of the crisis, and it will take only common sense and smart thinking to navigate through the rest of the storm.

Now if the coming Eid holidays can be spent responsibly, there is no reason not to expect it to reduce even further. This puts us in a better position than others at the moment to cater to the needs of non-coronavirus cases as well. 

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