COVID Watch | 17th April 2020


Depression Weakens Immunity

Home isolation and restrictions on movement may lead to depression as well as other mental and emotional problems among the public, experts warn. According to psychologists, mental health is an important factor in one’s physiology. Disorders such as depression and anxiety adversely affect the immune system. Professionals caution that deteriorating mental health may cause increased vulnerability to COVID-19.

Suicide over COVID-19 Fears

An elderly, mentally ill man committed suicide on Thursday, April 16th by setting himself on fire after being falsely led to believe he had contracted coronavirus. Hanif Ahmad, 68, was asthmatic. On the day of the incident, family members relate he had suffered a severe asthma attack, after which neighbors incorrectly identified the fit as a symptom of COVID-19. Fearful of the virus, Ahmad then doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire.

50% Unaware of Risk-Groups

A study published by the Agha Khan University (AKU) revealed that half of the surveyed Pakistanis were aware that asthmatics, smokers, and diabetics are more vulnerable to COVID-19. The purpose of the study was to gauge the dissemination of information, including facts and myths, among rural and urban Pakistanis. Moreover, researchers asserted that it is important for people to identify risk-groups if they are living near them to take necessary precautions.

AJK Mosques Exempted

Prime Minister Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) Raja Farooq Haider announced the lifting of restrictions on daily and Friday prayers, and Taraweeh prayers at mosques. The announcement made after a meeting with religious leaders. However, the AJK government directed that all necessary precautions must be observed at mosques, including regular disinfection of mosque premises, cleaning prayer mats and maintaining a distance of at least 3 feet.

12 PIC Staff Test Positive

Three doctors and five nurses and paramedics among the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) employees contracted COVID-19. Samples have been collected from all 250 other staff members and dispatched for testing. Results are still awaited.

PIC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Saqib Shafi, who also tested positive, stated that a majority of coronavirus-positive cases are asymptomatic. The patients have been sent to different government isolation wards.