Capital at risk of germ attack

  • Health experts say sit-ins in Islamabad providing ideal environment for spread of infectious diseases; advise protestors to adopt preventive measures
  • PIMS hospital spokesman says several cops and protesters are visiting the hospital with complains of headache, fever, back pain, sore throat and weakness

Health experts have pointed out that there are high chances of spread of infectious diseases in the federal Capital due to presence of people from different areas in the sit-ins of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).

They opined that as people have come to Islamabad from various cities which have a history of different diseases, particularly communicable diseases, the diseases may be spread to others.

The health experts said that whenever people from different places get together at one place, there are increased chances of spread of various infectious diseases including skin diseases.

Skin specialist Dr Raza Ahmad said that skin infections and superficial infections including impetigo, ringworm, conjunctivitis, scabies and head lice are common in case of presence of large group of people at one place.

He said people should promptly wash hands and cover sores, cuts and scratches, while directing those people whose eyes are discharging pus to not be in contact with other people and avoid moving in public until the discharge has stopped.

Similarly, in case of rashes, sores, running eyes and severe itching, sit-ins participants should immediately consult medical experts, he said.

Medical expert Dr Mumtaz Khan said that sometimes transmission of micro-organisms occurs directly from one person to another by one or more of the means including droplet contact, like coughing or sneezing on another person, or touching an infected person.

He said that when people of separate living areas congregate at single place in large numbers, there are confirmed chances of dissemination of various diseases and advised the protesters to take preventive measures.

When contacted, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Spokesman Dr Wasim Khawaja said that there are chances of spread of infectious diseases due to sit-ins and special arrangements have been made by the hospital management in this regard.

He said that the hospital has put highly equipped ambulances on high alert to provide immediate medical assistance to participants of the sit-ins staged by PTI and PAT.

He said that protesters can visit the hospital’s emergency in case of any medical complication or they can get information or standard medical assistance from the hospital’s helpline 051 9261170.

He said several policemen on duty and several protesters are visiting PIMS with complications like headache, fever, back pain, sore throat and weakness.

He said all arrangements have been made to deal with any untoward situation and sufficient stock of medicines is available at the hospital.