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Dr Zafar Mirza warns against taking coronavirus lightly, says next three to four weeks ‘critical’

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Wednesday stressed on not taking the coronavirus lightly, saying that the next three to four weeks will be ‘critical’ for Pakistan, reported Geo News. 

“In the last 24 hours, we have received the highest number of deaths from COVID-19, 17, for the third time in Pakistan,” he said, addressing an event held at the Ministry of Health’s office. “The coming three to four weeks will be critical for Pakistan.”

Dr Mirza said that the spread of communicable diseases in Pakistan was high due to ignorance on the matter. “We do not pay attention to the fact that communicable diseases are preventable,” he said. “Diseases spread despite efforts but a lot of things are under our control but since we don’t invest in it, we [ultimately] let diseases spread,” he added.

He said that guidelines are “notoriously neglected” in Pakistan. Dr Mirza said that SOPs and protocols “are like words to us and not concepts”. “I think for the whole of the world, especially the developing world, the health sector will never be the same,” he said, adding that there had never been a moment in human history when there was so much focus on public health and disease prevention.

Dr Mirza said that Pakistan, including the world, was reeling from the economic impact of an infection. “Do not take it as a mere infection only. It will have implications on our generation and the generations to come,” he said.

Pakistan’s coronavirus cases cross 10,000 mark

The number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to over 10,000 on Wednesday. According to figures available to Geo News, the death toll has increased to 212 persons.

The first case of the coronavirus was reported in the country on February 26. Pakistan has taken various measures, similar to other countries in the world, to control the infection from spreading. These include imposing a partial lockdown across the country, suspending domestic and international flights, and closing its borders.

The virus, which spread from the wet markets in Wuhan, China, last year, has infected more than 2.5 million people around the globe and caused the deaths of more than 177,000. 

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