Washington D.C (our correspondent) Renowned Pakistani American physician expressed concerns on a surge in Covid19 cases in Pakistan and asked the government to at least impose the mask mandate to control rising cases throughout the country.
Dr. Mubashar Choudry, a renowned cardiologist in an exclusive chat said that cases are surging, and limited testing compared with other countries suggest the virus could be racing through the country at an even higher rate. “In Pakistan ineffective government limits on personal contact and widespread doubts, often fueled by conspiracy theories, that Covid 19 poses a threat”, he added.
According to National Health Services (NHS), the death toll in Pakistan due to Covid is rising while the positivity rate was recorded at approximately 5 percent. Pakistani officials have warned of a third wave hitting the country if steps were not taken to stop the tide.
“In Pakistan Mosques, Marriage Halls, Restaurants, Shopping Malls, Buses look crowded while political activity is at the peak and hardly anyone is wearing a mask, ” Dr. Mubashar Choudry observed.
“Last summer, infectious disease specialists in America warned that the Covid-19 pandemic could spiral into a “twindemic”
when seasonal influenza hit but that nightmare scenario never unfolded. The flu didn’t get a strong footing in the United States this season because the safety precautions used to prevent Covid-19, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing, also helped cut down the activity”, Dr. Choudry explained.
He said the evidence is clear that masks can help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that the more people wearing the masks, the better. “I think the biggest thing with Covid now that shapes all of his guidance on masks is that we can not tell who is infected, said Dr. Mubashar Choudry.
“You can not look in a crowd and say, that person should wear a mask. There is a lot of asymptomatic infection, so everybody has to wear a mask”.
I have been following political activities in Pakistan and you see the big crowds everywhere and there were only a few who were wearing masks”. Dr. Choudry said that leaders of the political parties should be an example for their followers by wearing masks in the political gatherings but sadly it is not happening.
A recent study published in Health Affairs compared the Covid-19 growth rate before and after mask mandates in 15 American states found that mask mandates led to a slowdown in daily Covid-19 growth rate, which became more apparent over time. The first five days after a mandate, the daily growth rate slowed by 0.9 percentage points compared to the five days prior to the mandate while at three weeks that daily growth rate had slowed down by 2 percentage points. Another study that looked at coronavirus deaths across 198 countries found that those with cultural norms or government policies favoring mask-wearing had lower death rates.