Pakistan facing Coronavirus pandemic

         Pakistan is facing pandemic of Coronavirus sprouting as an epidemic in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

Background:

Coronavirus is now affecting many countries world-wide with a variable number of statistics of aymptomatic, morbidity as well as mortality levels. The situation is more  grave in countries like Italy with expected worse results in India and Pakistan. Though the number of the effected cases is not less in America reaching in thousands as well as in United Kingdom, yet the conditions and mortality is not as worse as Italy. New cases are being observed throughout the world with China coming out of the epidemic and controlling the situation in maximum two months of complete lockdown with Wuhan being the biggest quarantine reportedly.

Exponential increase:

The affected cases in Pakistan reach around 700 with the risk of exponential increase in cases in following days if specially the situation of non-seriousness and unawareness continued. The few main problems being faced here are as follows.

Unawareness:

Medical aspects:

Many people are not aware of social distancing, the mode of transmission or importance of self- isolation and thus within the families transmission is getting difficult to control.

Religious aspects:

most of the people are not aware of the religious orders in epidemic and thus having misconceptions of firm believe on death without taking any precautionary measures

Poverty:

The people on daily wages basis are not ready to quarantine themselves so that they       can earn for their family.

Non-seriousness towards flu-like symptoms:

People with flu-like symptoms are not ready to accept about their symptoms to be of Coronavirus or on the other side they do not want to go quarantined so not revealing their symptoms and simply transmitting to other individuals.

The political aspect:

The people at present are critizing the policies of government and not finding them appropriate  whereas other individuals or groups of people  are using it as tactics against the government and provoking the people about controversies of steps and decisions of local and central government rather than being united and fighting against the disease together as a nation.

Selfishness:

Few individuals are trying to misuse the situation  for their personal benefits and making money as much possible.

Prolonged survival rate of virus:

one of the major problems is the increased survival rate of the coronavirus which ranges from lasting 3 hours in air to 3days on plastic which can be the major cause of transmission.

What government has done:

The Prime Minister announced for self-isolation with negating the complete lockdown of the cities due to the economic conditions of the country in the initial days as the epidemic started to peak.

Partial lockdown:

cities are being partially locked down at provincial level. Gatherings, schools, offices as well as out-patient door of hospital for non-emergencies is closed.

Quarantine: facility of quarantine has been provided as well as it is being further increased according to the need

Availability of masks and senitizers:

it is being possibly made available on reasonable rates through out the country where few individuals are groups are trying to use it for marketing purposes

Availability of diagnostic test:

the diagnostic test is being made available to the affected patients though not free of cost entirely.

Health facilities to the patients:

Availability of the health facilities to the patients and updating the number of ventilators is done in the government as well as private sectors.

Integrated approach of the institutions:

the local government, health department, armed forces and the federal government all are working hard on this disastrous situation.

Despite these measures the morbidity is increasing with predictions of lot more cases to come forward and this failure is due to few of above mentioned causes and at individual as well as at nation level.

Upcoming measures:

Now the most important thing is to control the pandemic in Pakistan as soon as possible otherwise the health and economic conditions will worsen day by day.

Complete lockdown:

Several studies done within these three months of pandemic breakdown have revealed that complete lockdown from the closure of international traffic to intra-city and intercity transportation including the personal vehicles like cars will on the least slow down the pandemic with gain of precious time to treat and isolate the already infected patients. On the most it will help effectively from transmitting of the virus to the areas which are not affected yet. In Wuhan, the people were allowed only for medical emergencies or on alternative days for only thirty minutes.  Here  complete lockdown of 15 to 30 days with the model followed by that of China will at least help to limit the development of new cases and the peak of cases would be the only one who have already gained the virus in their body.

The intra-city transportation and trains should be strictly and completely blocked. Even the gatherings at home should be charged heavy fine and have to be strictly monitored by the local government.

Effective isolation of cases: In the time period of complete lockdown, maximum people with even simple flu-like symptoms should be quarantined with the formula of one patient one room.

Quarantine development: The hospitals and other available buildings should be converted into quarantines, so as to accomplish the goal of one room one patient facility efficiently.

Media role: Media should be taking part in the awareness program so as to educate common man. It includes the volunteer effort or implemented by government.

Religious aspect: keeping in view the faith, believes and the religious affections of the people this point is the most critical one which can be positively utilized. On the national level the Ulemas and the Islamic preachers at all levels should be urged to make people aware regarding self-isolation to be the prime teaching of Islam as compared to the illogical concept of not taking preventive measures and relating the epidemic to the certainty of death. The people made be aware about the Islamic reward for the people facing the epidemic and taking its preventive measures to be true faithful in the light of Islam.

Economic volunteers: The economic volunteers to come forward and provide the budget of daily requirements for the needy people along with the amount of budget the government has to make sure for those people.

Grocery supply at homes: The online stores and the volunteers with tested negativity of test should be encouraged to supply the daily use items at door steps instead of the more number of people going out and yet gathering at a small number in stores. The contact of the buyer and the delivery assistant should be avoided by just delivering and getting the payment at door steps without physical contact. Gloves should be used for handing taking over of the grocery and the cash which are to be discarded properly or at least hand wash is done after the exchange.

 Frequent steriliztion of the test conduction area: The area where the coronavirus test is being conducted should be very efficiently be cleaned and sterilized. After every coronavirus test positive case it should be cleaned with all the possible contact things and the testing person should also cautiously sterilize himself before testing the next person.

Zero tolerance to negligence: Any negligence noted at any level should be not tolerated at all so as to ensure all the policies to be effectively implemented.

Role of Army: Pakistani nation specially a common man may have variable political choices and grudges but when it comes to the army they stand united with the army. Statements from the higher official of Army may make them understand the critical war-like situation of Pakistan and participation of all the citizens against fighting a battle against an unseen or microscopically seen enemy is equivalent to defeat the enemy army may awake the nation.

Conclusion:

If the nation realizes, then only can nation fight the enemy. So fight against the unseen enemy at levels it can be done and save the humanity.

Dr Saadia Hafeez 

 

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