Misunderstanding created by relentless coverage in mainstream media and social media are clouding public perception of Covid-19, which is at times poses a life-threatening situation for patients.
Syed Mehtab Ali Shah, a resident of Ittehad Colony Peshawar faced the same dilemma when his 55 years old uncle fell ill earlier in Ramzan. Fear resulting from unfounded rumours surrounding Coronavirus coupled with lockdown barred them from taking his ailing uncle to hospital, which finally resulted in his death.
“There is so much fear of virus has been created by social and mainstream media, which is making things difficult for citizens’’, he said. He said that in initial days of Covid-19, people shared different types of videos on social media like, instead of treating patients, doctors are injecting poison to the Covid-19 patients,” shared,Mr Shah.
(Wrong social media message in below link)
A couple of days before Ramzan, Shah’s Uncle who dealt in furniture business hired some labourers for cleaning his godown and came down with high temperature and sore throat the very next day. Instead of going to the doctor, he consulted a quake doctor and started taking medicines prescribed by him. This rather worsened his conditions and he even got breathing problems. The family took him to another doctor who advised him quarantine and swab test for Covid-19.
However, the family still feared the unfounded rumours surrounding Covid19 did not take him for the test.
Mr.Mr Shah revealed that in the meanwhile her grandma fell ill and died after a brief illness and it made them totally oblivious of his uncle deteriorating condition. Three days after the demise of grandmother, the ailing uncle condition worsened and he was taken to hospital, where he died before his Covid-19 test result came. The swab test result which came days after uncle death was negative which another dilemma for our whole family was as we couldn’t perform his last rites.
Mr Adnan Khan-33 resident of Peshawar was COVID-19 positive. He shared that on April 20, I had a very high fever and had started to pick up a dry cough. I tested in Police Hospital Peshawar and on April 25 my result came positive. I was on 17-day quarantine in my separate room at home and haven’t seen my children and other family members.
When I was asking people through phone they told me that there is no treatment for coronavirus just take food and fruits. “In initial days everybody’s making jokes about Coronavirus. I also don’t take it seriously,” Mr. Khan said. He said that now I advise everybody to take serious, it is not a joke because it can take your life. He said that the only thing which I want to advise to use a mask, wash hands and make the social distance.
According to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Corona Virus Covid-19 Daily updates as of 21 June 2020, a total of active cases are 14640 in the province. The numbers of confirmed cases are 21997 while 821 people have died and 6536 are recovered.
In Peshawar division, a total of 9280 corona positive cases and 398 deaths reported while Peshawar district is on top with 7555 positive cases and 398 deaths while Nowshera is on the second number with 608 positive cases and 32 deaths. However a total of 6001 people recovered from corona in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa out of which 933 people recovered in Peshawar district.
Dr Qasim Afridi focal person of Covid-19 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Merged Districts said that it depends upon the condition of the patient to admit it in the hospital or not. He said that if COVID-19 Positive case is mild and stable he can get home treatment from a doctor and can be home isolated but if the case is severe having difficulty in breathing and needs oxygen then the case should be hospitalized.
Professor Dr.Wajid Akhunzada head of the Psychiatry Department in Hayatabad Medical Complex said physiologically the people are much suffered. He said that the physiological impact of COVID- 19 is greater than the treatment as there is a dire need for physiological treatment for the patients. He further said that not only the patients but his entire family going through physiological pressure. “Most of the family even not sharing that one of his brother or relative affected from COVID 19 which also increases and spread the virus because of the social stigma” Dr.Wajid added.
He informed that there is a dire need to give education to the people as to follow the protection measures ‘ adding that some people even reluctant and mostly not want to meet with the affected family as it will also affect our norms and culture. We should face this disease as to take precautionary measure not to avoid patient of their family members.
This is a very common issue nowadays and the government and even religious scholars should talk on it to encourage people that is not a very dangers disease but precaution is the best treatment to handle it.
He urged doctors to encourage the patients as most of the patients are recovered from the disease and the doctor courage for a patient is the first medicine for his recovery.