COVID-19 is the abbreviation for ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019’, a contagious respiratory illness that is spread from person to person via droplets that may extend a few feet. It is caused by a virus for which there is no known pre-immunity, no vaccine, no specific treatment, and everyone is presumed to be susceptible. It can cause mild to severe illness and it is most severe in older adults and those with existing co-morbidities.
This rapidly spreading outbreak was first detected in Wuhan, China in November 2019 and was declared a pandemic by the WHO on 11th March 2020.
COVID-19 has posed a challenge for the entire world and more so for countries in the global south, with under-developed health systems, that are vulnerable to such a disease burden. Pakistan is one such country, where the cases are beginning to rise.
The Government of Pakistan is working actively to stop the spread of this infection by the implementation of strict border control, improving access to detection and provision of isolated care to the infected. Details of various guidelines posted by the Pakistani government can be found at their official COVID-19 website.
How are we responding?
Yaran e Watan – The Pakistani Diaspora Initiative is launching to augment and supplement the Government’s response to this global pandemic. It will leverage both innovative and traditional solutions for precaution, prevention, and treatment to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the country.
It is intended to provide the following voluntary services through this platform,
Inform and counsel: Respond with scientific information to people’s concerns about COVID-19, its clinical features, and direct them to appropriate services; counseling/mental health services for patients and their family members.
Triage: Online consultations to differentiate those that need at-home-care from those who require necessary hospital care and prevent people from gathering at hospitals and clinics.
Sharing of knowledge between local and overseas health professionals on the latest, evidence-based COVID-19 practice guidelines through webinars and online training.
Collaboration for the development of innovative techniques and methods for improved health sector response to the current pandemic.
If you are an overseas Pakistani healthcare professional or a healthcare provider (including telemedicine companies) in Pakistan who would like to engage in supporting health in this crisis, click below to register.