SAPM Health Services, Dr. Zafar Mirza refused to follow WHO recommendations of two weeks on and off lockdown. while coronavirus cases are regularly increasing. Currently more than 114,000 are infected with Covid-19. 2,255 people have died while around 36,308 have recovered from the disease. Pakistan decided to ease the lockdown in phases only one and a half months after imposing it..
Due to alarming statistics within a few days of easing lockdown, the World Health Organisation (WHO) wrote a letter to Pakistan. The letter suggested reimposing of lockdown to curb the spread of the virus and also highlighted some weaknesses in the management of pandemic.
Why Dr Zafar Mirza Ruled Out WHO Recommendations
Dr. Mirza denied the recommendation and stated that it was not necessary to do whatever the WHO said. He maintained that Pakistan will not impose lockdown so people must apply preventive measures to stay safe from the virus.
He added that the pandemic situation was getting worse so the government was using a holistic strategy to deal with coronavirus. He firmly believes that the pandemic can be controlled if people follow the SOPs properly. He added that the government chose a tough policy to maintain the balance between lives and livelihoods.
People Bashing The Views Of Dr. Mirza
Dr. Mirza says that WHO is only looking at this situation from the health point of view. However, he thinks that the pandemic situation in Pakistan must be viewed from a holistic lens. It means that people can take health risks to keep earning their livelihoods.
People Think He Should Listen To WHO
Many people were against this decision of Dr. Zafar Mirza. If WHO has sent a letter then there is clearly something wrong. People were hoping that the PM’s special advisor on health would see that too.
Does the Economy Matter More than Public Health?
This user summed up Pakistan in just one statement. The government response to the pandemic was not wise according to the majority. People do not consider making money more important than living a healthy life.
Undoubtedly, Dr. Zafar Mirza is an acclaimed person with a history of improving public health in many countries. So it is difficult for the public to understand why an accomplished doctor would think about anything other than public health in his own country.
People Realizing to Choose The Wrong Government
People immediately called out the hypocrisy in Dr. Mirza’s response to WHO letter. It has been noted many times that the government modifies its claims and statements to push its agendas. It has led few of them to regret the decision of voting for the current government.
What Did The WHO Letter Say
The letter stressed on imposing recurring lockdown because the prerequisites of lifting lockdown were not met in Pakistan. A twitter user shared a digital copy of the letter which states those requirements.
WHO said that Pakistan is one of the top 10 countries who are reporting the highest number of new COVID-19 cases. It underlined poor governmental efforts as the reason for increasing positive cases. WHO suggests that Pakistan must go with a two weeks-on and two weeks-off strategy that will see lockdown imposed for 2 weeks after every couple of weeks until the spread is controlled.
Many people including celebrities think that Pakistan must listen to WHO as public health is a major concern right now. Shafaat Ali, who is a Pakistani artist who tested positive for COVID-19 recently, thinks that this letter is an embarrassment for Pakistan.