Government should explain seriousness of the pandemic to public: doctor
Many Pakistanis believe the novel coronavirus doesn’t exist and aren’t adopting precautionary measures to avoid being infected.
Dr Atif Hafeez Siddiqui believes the responsibility for this misconception falls onto the shoulders of politicians because of the way they express their thoughts on the virus while speaking on television.
Dr Siddiqui is an ENT specialist and surgeon and served as the president of the Pakistani Islamic Medical Association. He was of the view that people are confused about who to believe.
“Healthcare professionals and the government are doing what they can to stem the virus’ outbreak, but when the public sees politicians blaming each other on national television they think [COVID-19] is a hoax,” the doctor told SAMAA TV anchor Ali Haider on Wednesday.
He was of the opinion that political leaders could have used their platforms to educate people about the seriousness of the pandemic and how they can protect themselves from the virus, but they instead chose to do point scoring.
Human instinct is also at work, he added. People are likely to fall for conspiracy theories rather than believe the truth.
Rumours have been circulating on social media platforms that the government is exaggerating the coronavirus situation to get foreign aid. People are also accusing hospital administrations of “being part of the government’s plan” by declaring the cause of every patient’s death the coronavirus.
Dr Siddiqui said the government should depute some of its officials to talk the nation out of such fallacies or else the outbreak will worsen.
“People need to understand that patients with underlying health issues, or weak immune systems are likely to die if they contract COVID-19,” he said. “This is why some patients that are admitted in hospitals end up dying.”
Pakistan has reported nearly 83,000 known coronavirus cases and 1,727 patients have died so far. Health experts have warned that the infections will continue to spike till the mid of July.
Gallup surveys have proven that a big chunk of Pakistan is not taking the global pandemic seriously.