Dr Zafar Mirza advises govt to ramp up virus testing | Pakistan Today

Dr Zafar Mirza advises govt to ramp up virus testing

Former special assistant to the prime minister on health Dr Zafar Mirza on Friday advised the government to ramp up its testing for early detection of coronavirus clusters.

In an interview with a local television channel, Dr Mirza cautioned against complacency in the war against the highly contagious virus, warning that Covid-19 could spread in the coming winter season.

Taking stock of the increasing coronavirus cases in the country, he advised the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) to ramp up its testing for early detection and action.

He also advocated the use of a rapid antigen test for Covid-19, saying that it helps the authorities quickly and accurately detect virus clusters, which along with the smart lockdown strategy, can help the government prevent the spread of the contagion.

A rapid antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test suitable for point-of-care testing that directly detects the presence or absence of an antigen. This distinguishes it from other medical tests that detect antibodies or nucleic acid, of either laboratory or point of care types.

Over the past few days, Pakistan has recorded an uptick in Covid-19 infections, igniting speculations about a massive second wave of the epidemic. The government has also hinted that if the situation worsens, it would be forced to take stringent measures to contain the virus spread.

It is worth mentioning here that when active coronavirus cases began declining in the country, the government moved ahead with its decision of allowing a complete reopening of the national economy to protect the people’s livelihood.

Later, schools were also reopened even as Covid-19 infections witnessed a slight increase. However, throughout this time, health experts cautioned against declaring an early victory and urged the public to adopt precautionary measures to avoid another wave of infections.