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 Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) Alberta chapter has been closely observing the very rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic around the world and in particularly, Alberta and Pakistan. As of today, March 21, confirmed cases in Alberta have reached 226 and 1046 altogether in Canada. In Pakistan the latest number of confirmed cases is close to 500. The Government of Pakistan has taken steps including suspension of the operation of all international flights to and from Pakistan.
APPNA Alberta acknowledges the hard work, dedication and leadership demonstrated by the Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, in these trying times. The provincial government has taken active steps following the recommendations of the CMO, such as placing restrictions on mass gatherings with limitation to certain numbers of people following social distancing, school closures, and declaring a public health emergency.
Although these measures were necessary, they have not been completely successful. There have been reports gathering held such as curling event last week in Edmonton and this led to the confirmation of at least one positive COVID-19 case after the event. Another gathering held in Calgary was a Friday congregation in a mosque in NE that has received a public condemnation and frustrations among the Muslims of Calgary. Few days before, the Imam Council of Calgary issued a statement postponing all Friday Congregations until further notice.
We appreciate and respect the religious obligations, but also understand that the risk of spreading virus in such gathering are likely to be very high due to inability to practice the recommended social distances. APPNA Alberta Chapter strongly condemns these kind of actions which put individuals and the public at risk of being infected with the virus condemns these kind of actions which put individuals and the public atIt has become clear that as we practice self-isolation, social distancing, hand washing and limited social encounters, the government needs to issue more strict recommendations, to ensure the safety of all Albertans.
APPNA Alberta Chapter recommends that the Government of Alberta take further aggressive measures and announce MANDATORY restrictions on all gatherings, and a complete lock down, if required.
Learning from proactive measures put in place by several governments across the world, this is the only way in which we can achieve our common goal that is “flattening the curve of this pandemic”.
The APPNA Alberta Chapter continues to play its vital role in spreading a message of primary prevention. Our healthcare professionals are working hard to provide the health care to all Albertans across the province.
APPNA Alberta team is available in any additional way, to help and support the government and community in fighting against COVID-19.