The Young Doctors Association has raised the alarm over doctors and medical staff not having access to enough protective equipment, which is troubling as the virus picks up the pace all over Pakistan.
At this stage of the pandemic, providing the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare personnel will determine our success or failure in combating this virus. As the number of cases rises, every medical worker will be needed – we cannot afford cases of the coronavirus surfacing within doctors, as that will make them unable to perform their duties, not to mention the risk this poses to their lives in the line of their work. This is why the safety of doctors and nurses on the frontline is extremely important and must be prioritised at all costs.
Having said that, with the sensitivity of the situation in mind, both the state and the Young Doctors Association (YDA) need to stand together and resolve their issues amicably and without conflict. Many associations and organisations in this country believe that protests and a call to strike are the only ways to get their message to the government across. Under normal circumstances, this may indeed be the truth, but we are currently in an extraordinary situation, and health workers cannot even consider the prospect of a strike at this crucial time.
As many have rightly pointed out; the bravery of medical workers cannot be understated at a time when they are putting their lives at maximum amounts of risk just by doing their jobs. The country must stand by them and listen to their advice regarding this virus. For the government that advice relates to providing PPE to doctors and nurses, while for citizens the message now is simple; stay at home. We can pull through this if we all follow simple directives, do not give in to panic and act responsibly over the course of the next few weeks.