A year full of miseries and frustrations is about to bid farewell but the treats of the health system’s collapse are still there. Fortunately, Pakistan, a country with struggling health opportunities, remained protected and safe from the severity of the covid-19, thanks to the blessings of the Almighty and then the policies of the government.
However, the world is again on the verge of a health crisis due to the fast-transmitting variant, Omicron which has already strengthened its presence in South Africa, European countries, and America. Thankfully, Pakistan did not face the danger of the new variant in December although it was expected by the officials and medics.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Tuesday confirmed 75 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus in Pakistan.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 17 cases were reported in Islamabad, 33 in Karachi and 13 in Lahore and 12 cases of omicron were detected in people coming from abroad.
On December 2, Pakistan braced itself to counter the impending threat by taking a string of stringent and proactive measures.
Pakistani experts and officials believed that the emergence of Omicron further underlined the importance of nationwide vigorous vaccination drive and adherence to basic preventative measures of wearing masks and maintaining social distance to fight against Omicron that the World Health Organization named a “variant of concern.”
Asad Umar, chairman of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) which oversees the country s response to the pandemic, earlier this week urged the Pakistani people to get fully vaccinated in order to protect themselves from the new variant.
The NCOC had also announced to ban direct or indirect inbound travel from some countries and regions including South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, among others, with immediate effect to stop the spread of Omicron.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said on Thursday Covid-19 vaccination centres will remain closed across the country on Jan 1 and 2.
The country’s nerve centre for Covid-19 response said the inoculation drive will resume from Jan 3.
The NCOC said 30 per cent of the country’s total population and 46 per cent of the eligible population have been inoculated against the viral disease.
Amid the growing threat of outbreak of cases of Covid-19 Omicron variant, it urged citizens to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible and adhere to the SOPs.
Yet again, this is the time for us to show responsibility. Everyone must ensure following the SOPs of covid to avoid the spread of the new variant as per the government instructions. Secondly and most importantly, on the eve of New Year, everyone should restrain him/herself from participating in the crowded events to save the nation from any possible health disaster. In general, we, as a nation, must abide by the SOPs of covid to have safe and happy New Year.