Just when we thought that we have gotten control over the situation, the Corona Virus came back with stronger variants. This has affected all industries alike. Karachi Eat Festival, launched in 2014, attracts thousands of food lovers every year. It is celebrated in all its glory with food diversities from all around the world. The food festival that is to be held this week is being frowned upon this year. This is due to the abrupt rise in coronavirus infections in the city. Experts are completely against holding the event, given the increasing cases of the Omicron variant.
The event organizers and Sindh Health Department assure that the SOP’s will be strictly applied at the event. Not only that but free vaccine boosters will also be provided at the festival. The event organizers also claim that only the people with vaccination certificates will be allowed entry to the festival. It has also been stated that the SOP’S and social distancing will be strictly imposed. “We have a COVID-19 Prevention partner that’s giving free booster shots at the festival. Sanitization tunnels and hygiene in washrooms are in place. Ambulances and sanitizers would be seen at the festival too”, says Amna Saleem, an organizer of the event. She further stated that “The Karachi Eat management is in talks with the government officials and there’s no sign of lockdown”.
The Health Concerns Associated With Karachi Eat Festival
The positivity rate which was 6.62% on January 4th, has now reached almost 20% as reported by the health department. This is the reason why health experts have strictly warned against holding the event this week. Dr. Qaiser Sajjad states that the Omicron variant, if not prevented from spreading, can also mutate and result in more lethal strains. “Secondly, the delta variant is also present in the city and it together with omicron may create another strain or make the existing ones from mild to severe”. The medical specialists are concerned that holding such large-scale events, in the middle of a pandemic, will only amplify the situation. And this time, it can be amplified beyond control.
Dr. Seemin Jamali from JPMC has also come forward with her concerns. She states that adequate implementation of health guidelines at such a large scale is quite doubtful. She said that implementing SOP’s effectively is impossible except in the case of a complete lockdown.
The 20% rise in COVID-19 cases has made the concerned authorities very cautious. The health practitioners are not in favor of holding the Karachi eat festival in this situation.