Real number of coronavirus patients is much higher: Dr Attaur Rahman

Says things will get much worse if govt doesn’t ramp-up testing

Published: 09:51 PM, 29 Mar, 2020
Real number of coronavirus patients is much higher: Dr Attaur Rahman
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Prime Minister’s National Task Force on Science and Technology Chairman Professor Dr Attaur Rahman has said that he foresees the coronavirus situation getting worse in the country and has urged the government to ramp-up testing of suspected patients.

“The government should carry out testing for 30,000-40,000 patients on a daily basis. So far we see merely 2,000-3,000 being tested,” he said, in an interview with a private TV channel on Sunday. 

“The data coming in of patients across the country is not indicative of the true picture. The real number of patients is much higher,” he added.

Dr Attaur Rahman said that under the supervision of Lahore University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram, a series of clinical trials of a few drugs will begin next week. He said that the form the disease has taken in Pakistan will become evident in the next 10 days.

Reiterating the need for testing, Dr Rahman said that the disease is “Rapidly spreading like wildfire” and had brought even nations like the United States “to its knees”.

Speaking of the need for stringent containment measures to defeat the spread of the virus, he said that people who are leaving their homes without a good reason “should be thrown into jails”, If we don’t take strict action now, things could get out of hand,” he said. 

Praying that he is proven wrong, Dr Ataur Rahman cautioned that things will get much worse than we can anticipate and once more emphasised on the need for stricter quarantine measures and greater testing capacity to be implemented by the government. 

Replying a question he said that the work is in progress regarding preparation of anti-corona vaccine in the world and it has been claimed that this vaccine has been prepared at some places; however it will take 12 to 18 months to come in market.