COVID-19, commonly known as novel coronavirus, is unleashing a rein of awe and trepidation globally, emerged from China’s Wuhan city in January 7. Currently, around 162 countries are worst-hit by this virus and engulfing entire world bit by bit, as a consequence, World Health Organization (WHO) termed it a ‘global pandemic’. According to Harvard University scientists’ research, the virus is likely to affect 70 percent of the world’s population.
Unfortunately, Pakistan has also fallen prey to the virus. Country’s coronavirus tally jumps to 193 when I was jotting down this write-up. The burgeoning proportion is compelling to trigger questions on our “national response programme” against Covid-19 pandemic. The central government is showing frivolous in terms of containing the virus. The measurements and announcements of the incumbent government are lamentably confined only within the ambit of Twitter. The seriousness of all provincial governments under the tutlage of federal government is inevitable in harnessing the spread of the pandemic.
The national tally is ascending owing to sharp increase in reported cases of coronavirus among pilgrims who had recently returned to the country from Iran via the Taftan border. According to the Sindh Health department, a total number of 76 people from Taftan have tested positive for the virus which has debunked the all tall claims of the government about strict screening surveillance at the Taftan border and airports. The criminal negligence of the authorities is inviting the wrath of the virus for the hapless citizens which is highly reprehensible.
On the one hand, the ratio is rapidly increasing and the situation is getting horrifying and on the other hand, Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza perpetually boasts of country’s less reported cases than the rest of the world before the media and tends to engross in giving false comports to the naive populace by uttering “the situation is under control”. This rogue modus operandi is, no doubt, witnessing an alarmingly devastating matter of health concern.
The government should extend its emergency measures that should include countrywide travel restrictions and a stern ban on public gatherings to the entire country. All recreational and sporting events should be immediately cancelled while public places like restaurants, hotels, parks and other should remain suspended untill and unless the situation is stable.
Most significantly, it is the responsibility of every responsible citizen to follow the safety guidelines and precautionary measures suggested by the health experts to avoid contracting the highly contagious virus. Public have been urged multiple times via electric, print and social media to use protective masks, avoid handshakes, wash hands frequently and keep a proper distance in the span of conversation.
There is a dire and pressing need of launching a large scale and comprehensive awareness among the public against pandemic effects of coronavirus across the country. In this regards, political leaders, social activists, health experts, actors, singers, philanthropists and others should come up to contribute in awareness campaign and most importantly, media plays an indispensable role in imparting proper guidelines and recommendations to the ordinary folk.
All stakeholders should work collaboratively to devise strategies to prop up social, medical and financial sectors to cope with this spiralling development. All hospitals of the country must be equipped with coronavirus testing kits and ventilators amenities and the patients should be tested and treated thoroughly before the situation gets out of hand. Time is ripe the country should make efforts to witness an effective national response programme in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.