COVID-19: A Lesson / An Eye Opener

soi: 21-2017/re-trjvol06iss01p268


  • Nasir Sultan Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University Islamabad
  • Kiran Khushnood Faculty of Rehabilitation & Allied Health Sciences, Riphah International University Islamabad
  • Waqar Ahmed Awan Faculty of Rehabilitation & Allied Health Sciences, Riphah International University Islamabad



The pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to serious implications throughout the globe ranging from finance, education, social support to health. There is hardly any aspect left untouched by this fatality. It has also opened our eyes about unequal and unjust distribution of resources among the world where the deprived have seen the worse scenarios. The developed nations tried to cope this situation with their assets while the rest have either suffered or have emerged even stronger.

The major burden was definitely on the health services delivery and provision, where the scares means from equipment to space and man power have all played their role. The pandemic has opened the eyes of health policy makers and service providers who were living in deception and have never been ready for certain contagion. We have come to know that the medical services are never enough to deal with similar situation. COVID-19 has taught us the skill of how to be prepared and fight in a worse situation but unfortunately, we have learned this after losing many precious lives.

The changes in healthcare practices have also been modified. The infection control (IC) system which should have been a focus prior became a highlight after pandemic. The IC practices in hospitals (public and private sector) were not sufficient and adherence to them wasn’t observed either. Even the majority of services providers and heath care professionals weren’t aware of use of personal protective equipment (PPE); their use and sequences of donning and doffing, except for those working in intensive care units and isolation areas. Thanks to COVID-19 who taught us to be familiar with these things whether their use is un-common.

COVID-19 has also been a guide for people in rehabilitation who are prime part of recovery from all illnesses including this pandemic. COVID-19 was found to be a cause of multiple complications i.e. pulmonary, cardiac, neurological, musculoskeletal, psychological and social. Attention was also diverted to recovery in all the mentioned aspects which led to provision and improvements in tertiary care setups with focus on rehabilitation as a mode of full recovery. The stakeholders have started to be more focused on improving the mental and physical aspects of disease along with the physiological.

The rehabilitation and physical therapy services have not been spared from the pandemic. Where the physical therapy professionals were not ready and well trained to deal with contagious diseases and safety measures it put us in a bigger challenge. Many clinics and hospitals had scares availability of personnel protective equipment (PPE) which also lead to seriousness of situation. As for provision of physical therapy care direct contact with patients cannot be limited, and lack of knowledge on unavailability of PPE could put therapist’s or the patient’s life in danger.

Covid-19 opened the eyes and importance of teaching safety measures and donning and doffing of PPEs was learned with appropriate sequence. Although the well-organized hospitals were also working as per global standard protocols had least difficulty dealing with such issues. The physical therapists are trained to deal with such emergencies and critical situations but not being exposed to a pandemic and emergency like this has made the suppression of such reflexes in practice. The therapist learned to manage patients with optimum precautions making sure that the quality of care is not compromised. Several tele-rehabilitation models have also been develop and practiced to encounter the issue.1, 2

Hence we would take COVID-19 as an eye opener and as taught to be fair in the division of global resources and be prepared for a disaster that doesn’t discriminate among developed and undeveloped nations. The efficient use of services and being aware of emergency and safe healthcare practices can save us from unpredictable disasters like COVID-19.

Author Biographies

Nasir Sultan, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University Islamabad

Senior Lecturer of Physical Therapy at Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Islamabad

Kiran Khushnood, Faculty of Rehabilitation & Allied Health Sciences, Riphah International University Islamabad

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy

Waqar Ahmed Awan, Faculty of Rehabilitation & Allied Health Sciences, Riphah International University Islamabad

Professor of Physical Therapy