The Impact of COVID-19

During the coronavirus pandemic, the precautionary efforts made by the Pakistan Society for the Study of Liver Diseases have been significant. All events have been held online through the mode of video conference and new ideas discussed in the same manner. With a webinar dedicated to COVID-19 and liver transplant held on 6th June 2020, the implications of this virus were discussed in relation to the practice of liver transplants. The panel saw some well-qualified individuals, the likes of Professor Faisal Saud Dar, who was also the moderator, Professor Ruben Ciria, Professor Paolo Muiesan, Professor Mohamed Rela, who all discussed different aspects of the topic. Prof. Ruben Ciria, liver transplant and HPB Surgeon, reflected upon the worldwide impact of COVID-19 on liver transplant activity. Prof. Paolo Muiesan, liver transplant and HPB Surgeon, shed light on the donor and recipient issues in the coronavirus pandemic, and Prof Mohamed Rela, also a liver transplant and HPB surgeon, discussed ‘LDLT: emerging out of the current situation’.

A series of webinars were organized to observe World Hepatitis Day. Fifteen million people in Pakistan live with hepatitis B or C. An overwhelming majority of these people are unaware of their disease and lack basic knowledge regarding precaution, prevention, and treatments. Hepatitis has a much higher fatality rate than the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan with around 300 people dying every day as a result of hepatitis-related complications. In a webinar organized by PSSLD in association with Express Media Group and moderated by Dr. Zaigham Abbas (President PSSLD), speakers highlighted how there is a need for commitment and concerted action from the government as COVID-19 has further caused some complications in the detection and treatment of hepatitis.

With the coronavirus cases seeing a high after Eid-ul Adha, a sharp drop has followed later. This is good news but the fight with COVID-19 hasn’t ended just yet. According to an article published on Dawn, that highlighted the potential reasons for the drop in numbers, much is unknown to the world regarding the coronavirus. Studies are yet to suggest any hardcore, conclusive evidence, and hence, maintaining all precautionary measures and social distancing are still very much necessary. These values are also seen embodied by the Pakistan Society for the Study of Liver Disease as all in-person activities have been at a halt since the start of the outbreak in the country.

COVID-19 and Liver | Guidance for Patients