Punjab health minister warns of severity of third wave of coronavirus urges citizens to avoid complacency over SOPs
The opposition should postpone its planned long march, as it is not appropriate to stage public processions while Pakistan is in the midst of a third wave of the novel coronavirus, Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid said on Monday.
Addressing media at the Faisalabad Medical University, she urged the Pakistan Democratic Movement—which has announced it will commence a long march on the federal capital from March 26—to air its grievances in Parliament rather than through demonstrations. “If they [opposition] have reservations, they should come and sit with us [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] to enact election reforms,” she said.
Urging the public to take the ongoing third wave of the novel coronavirus “seriously,” Dr. Rashid warned that the disease was spreading rapidly right now. Blaming the recent surge on the public’s “carelessness,” she noted that part of the problem was a failure to effectively implement standard operating procedures issued by the government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
The health minister reiterated that Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sargodha, Lahore and Rawalpindi were facing the brunt of the coronavirus infections in the current wave and urged residents of these cities to take extra care.
Addressing the government’s vaccination strategy, Dr. Rashid noted that the process of vaccinating people over 60 had begun. She said that 114 vaccination centers had been established nationwide, adding that over 22,000 senior citizens had already received the first shot of the Sinopharm vaccine.
The provincial health minister reiterated her calls for the media to continue playing its role to inform the public to remain vigilant so the country could defeat the third wave as it had the first two. She also stressed that the coronavirus vaccine was “completely safe,” and urged eligible citizens to avail it as soon as possible.