Health experts have estimated that the first wave of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan is likely to peak by the end of July and start of August.
Many national and international experts have warned that the situation will get worse in the country if preventive measures are not taken in time, estimating that there could be more than 300 deaths daily in the country between July 8 and August 4.
Dr. Sameen Siddiqi, head of community health services at Aga Khan University, said this while addressing an online webinar titled ‘WHO’s alert on COVID-19: Myth or Reality.’
He quoted a projection made by the Institute of Health Metrics Evaluation, University of Washington, USA, saying that the death tally may cross 13,000 in early August if the virus continues to spread at the current rate.
If immediate steps are not taken by the Pakistani authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country, there could be over 300 deaths on a daily basis in the country by July 8, and there could be 13,000 deaths in the country by the start of August 2020 when this disease would peak in the country.
The webinar was attended by several national and international health experts including Dr. Syed Nasir Hussain, director of the Infection Prevention Program at the Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, Michigan USA; Dr. Imran Sharif, assistant professor of medicine from the Wayne State University Arizona; esteemed Pakistani gastroenterologist Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz; Dr. Shahjehan Katpar, and Dean faculty of dentistry at the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS).
Dr. Sameen elaborated that the number of infections started to rise exponentially when people violated SOPs during the Eid days. He feared that the actual number of cases in Pakistan might be ten times higher than reported. He noted that the situation in all South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan will be similar somewhere between July and August 2020.
COVID-19 is peaking in Pakistan, but more worrisome is that it could have a double peak it had in Iran and Saudi Arabia. The COVID-19 crisis can be blunted if not controlled by carrying out some important interventions, which include increasing public awareness, implementing selective lockdown, and other interventions.
Dr. Imran Sharif of the Wayne State University, discussed in detail how the disease progressed in the United States and its manifestation. He also spoke about the treatment and therapies being used in different parts of the world against the novel virus. He noted that there has been no proven treatment/vaccine available so far and that all the treatments, medicines are being used on an experimental level.
Dr. Syed Nasir Hussain said that Pakistan should follow WHO recommendation and impose a strict two-week lockdown followed by the ease and then again a similar lockdown to break the chain.