EDITORIAL: Nation Playing With Covid-19
The Covid-19 virus is having its heart-wrenching impact on families and friends- till date the government and people have adopted a nonchalant attitude towards the corona epidemic. Friday, in 24 hours 90 deaths were registered- the death toll from Corona virus jumped to 1,443. So far Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reported 453 deaths, Punjab 439, Sindh 427, Balochistan 46, Gilgit-Baltistan 11, Islamabad Capital Territory 23, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir six.
The deaths could have been prevented like in all road accidents. The government has put aside the advice of the medical fraternity and under the pretext of saving the poor masses from hunger decided that running the economy and opening the businesses and markets was more important- economy generates taxes/money for sustaining the government and its royal life style. For seventy years no one cared about the hunger and malnutrition of the poor masses. The economy is in ruins, thanks to the rampant corruption and economic wisdom of the ruling gurus. Reviving the economy from the death bed and bringing jobs and food to the 200 million hungry and jobless people will take a miracle and time.
No denying that keeping the economy going is important and so is keeping the poor fed – can we have the egg and omelet at the same time. In the parliament and talk-shows the government and opposition keeps bickering about the corona control policy – the opposition accuses the government of not having any national policy while the government keeps blundering in implementing what it calls its corona control strategy. After helping spread the virus for four months, wearing a mask has been made compulsory in public places.
Pilgrims from Iran, students from China and international travellers all were welcomed in thousands – with poor sanitation and control at the transit camps people fled into the cities spreading the virus. An aspirin or panadol was enough to temporarily reduce and control the fever and let the virus carrier escape the temperature control checks at the airports. Money too played an important role at the airports and spreading the virus.
The so-called lock down was not visible with the exception of shops shutter down and people moving around for buying Pakoras and jalabis in ramzan. A few major mosques were empty while others were packed and the whole corona control campaign labeled as a Jewish conspiracy.
As the death toll and infection rises in the population our leaders thought it would be intelligent to relax the lock-down instead of strictly reinforcing a proper quarantine regime in the population. Cynics say that this is a strategy used in desperation where the problem solves and eradicate itself as a consequence obliterating a major chunk of population. Survival of the fittest is true even in these corona times. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza seems helpless as the infection rises every day. He keeps warning and preaching about respecting (SOPs) procedures to people who love to violate every law in the books. Both science and religion are bent and modified according to personal whims.
Like the Noah’s flood this pandemic is gaining more ground and drowning the entire population. The quarantine rules recommended in the hadiths and by doctors were ruthlessly ignored and violated taking us many steps closer to a major national disaster. The Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah is right when he says that we have moved from “bad to worse”.
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