‘Is it time for a modified approach?’: Gift of the Givers’ Imtiaz Sooliman

Is it time for a modified approach?, asks Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman. Image: Thapelo Morebudi

Areas and provinces that are considerably free of Covid-19 should resume full-scale economic activity once it has been deemed safe to do so in terms of the containment of minimal infection, suggests Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman.

“Covid-19 has outsmarted us. It has evaded lockdown, went straight for our front line defence attacking health-care workers, police, defence and security services personnel, it ensured shutdown of operating theatres, hospitals, police stations and food outlets, crippled the economy, shattered livelihoods with unprecedented job losses expected in just five weeks of lockdown,” said Sooliman.

He added that there has also been an exponential increase in gender-based violence as well as an imbalance of emotional wellbeing and mental health that has been aggravated by the withdrawal of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.

“Countries don’t have single-entity challenges, it is a natural fact of life that individuals, communities and nations face diverse challenges that require a balanced approach to ensure the optimal functioning of that society,” said Sooliman.

“Covid-19 has thrown that challenge out to us. Are we obsessed with dealing with a single- entity challenge and abdicated rationality in dealing with the crisis holistically?”

He notes how though infections rates have been increasing, compared to the deaths recovery rates have been promising. Further he notes that this is a chance for a balance to be found between single-entity and multiple challenges that are “necessary to maintain an optimally functional society”.

Sooliman suggests that all areas and provinces which are considerably free of Covid-19 should resume full-scale economic activity once it has been deemed safe to do so in terms of the containment of minimal infection.

Furthermore, priority should be given to frontline medical service providers by prioritising their physical and mental wellbeing.

“Urgency, emergency and disaster means an intervention is required in 4-72 hours and not 4-7 months. It’s time to recruit and pay for additional health workers to be deployed at the 10 hotspots. This must not be a token minimalistic recruitment but a large-scale intervention to ensure substantial backup to compensate for any infected HCW being withdrawn for 14 days,” said Sooliman.

“It can’t be said there is no funding. The last we heard billions have been made available through generous public funding.”

By Amina Deka Asma – TimesLIVE

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