Economy survives, grows due to govt’s effective COVID strategy: President

ISLAMABAS, July 30 (APP): President Dr. Arif Alvi on Friday said that the government’s effective COVID-19 strategy including the policy of smart lockdowns played a major role in country’s economic survival and realization of [around 4%] Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth despite various challenges.

“Improvement in all micro and macro-economic indicators endorsed the numbers of GDP growth, which were disputed by some political forces”, he added.

The President was addressing inaugural session of a three-day 2nd International Conference of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM) with a theme of “Evidence Based Medicine”.

Dilating upon the government’s successful strategy to deal with the challenge of COVID-19, President Alvi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan by opposing complete lock-down adopted the policy of compassion to protect the poor and low income groups from the economic effects of the pandemic.

He said that the National Command and Control Center (NCOC) adopted an evidence based policy of smart lockdowns with the help of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

The President said that despite criticism from various segments of the society, the mosques in Pakistan remained open with the implementation of COVID Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

He said that with the blessings of Allah Almighty and the measures taken by the present government, the situation of coronavirus in Pakistan was far better than other countries including India, where people were lying under tents along the roads with oxygen cylinders.

The President appreciated the efforts and achievements of PSIM in the field of medical education, awareness and research in a short period of two years including their initiative of opening up free medical facilities namely “Aapka Clinic” for the poor and deserving in Lahore, Hyderabad and Karachi.

He, however, urged PSIM as well as medical professionals to focus on introducing telemedicine facilities to enable the poor, who could not afford to reach a doctor or clinic in case of any health problem, to take medical advice on phone.

About increase in the incidence of hepatitis in Pakistan at around 8.7%, the President said there was a need to follow the model of Egypt which had reversed the situation of hepatitis from 14% to almost zero.

The President said that biotechnology parks should be established in the country on the basis of market requirements.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr. Nausheen Hamid in her remarks on the occasion mentioned the present government’s health card scheme under its universal health coverage initiative and said the government was committed provide health facilities to masses.

She said the presence of President Dr. Arif Alvi in the conference depicted the government’s commitment towards health sector.

Dr. Nausheen Hamid lauded the courageous and front-line role of doctors and other medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She appreciated the services of PSIM in medical field and assured all out cooperation of the Ministry of National Health Services.

Chairman PSIM Prof. Aftab Mohisn, President PSIM Dr. Javed Akhtar and Secretary General PSIM Dr. Sonia Iqtadar also addressed the session and besides highlighting various activities and achievements of PSIM also spoke on different issues relating to medical field.