Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Monday, September 26, 2022

Is saluting doctors and offering tributes enough?

Pakistani nation has proved its resilience every time it has come face to face with a calamity. whether it is flood, earthquake or any other natural disaster, Pakistani people have forded its way back through unity and sheer determination.

COVID 19, a novel virus has currently hijacked the entire globe where more than 205 countries and territories around the world have reported more than million confirmed cases. Pakistan has also been affected by this pandemic where the virus has affected a considerable strength.

Despite a late start on response measures, government has been able to control the rapid spread of the virus while improving the overall health facilities to cope with emergency situation. Every department, whether public or private sector has stepped up to ensure that pandemic do not spread further. However, major responsibility of tackling the virus rest on the shoulders of doctors and paramedics.

Doctors and paramedics are constantly on the frontlines against COVID 19, risking their lives to save others. The fact that the virus has no proven cure right now and is currently treated through various trial methods, makes doctors and paramedics jobs more challenging. Despite shortage of personal protective equipment, their commitment and dedication is commendable. In fight against COVID 19, doctors are the real soldiers on borders, who are facing the main burnt of this pandemic. Dr. Osama Riaz (late) lost his life while screening and treating COVID 19 patients and became the first Pakistani doctor who died of coronavirus.

Pakistan payed a rich tribute to their fighting spirit and sacrifices by saluting and raising white flags at their homes. However, the question arises that are such tributes enough or we need to do more. Expecting a doctor to fight against COVID 19 without protective equipment is ignorant and callous. Though due to global spread of virus, there is a shortage of supplies and government is trying hard to provide as much as it can. However, this pandemic should lead to major reforms in our health departments.

The pandemic has exposed numerous flaws in our health system, where we do not have enough lifesaving equipment nor the skill to locally manufacture it. Whenever, there will be a global crisis, it is only the local industry which will be available to rescue the situation. Therefore, in long term we need to enhance our local manufacturing while ensuring enough stockage level of such equipment through priority purchase. We need to learn fast otherwise, i am afraid, next time saluting doctors would not be enough. Being son of the soil, they will still be on the frontline but expecting them to fight without proper equipment is heartless and cruel. So saluting doctors and offering tribute may work for optics but to really value them we need to provide them the requisite tool to fight against pandemic.

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