How can Pakistan fight coronavirus?
As the number of coronavirus patients has reached 1,000 since the first case hit Pakistan a month ago on February 26, it is important to analyze our response to the pandemic both at the leadership and national levels. No one knows how long it will last, but now everyone is convinced that caution and blocking are the only ways to prevent the virus from spreading at a very fast rate.
Things are still under control as only seven deaths were reported in 30 days, but the rate of patient increase from one on February 26 to 1,000 on March 26 should be a sign of concern to us. If we had made some “difficult” decisions a little earlier, the situation could have been even better than it is today. Now, it all depends on how the team Captain plays, that is, Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Coronavirus has changed the world, culture, lifestyle and behavior, from handshaking to hand washing. It is time that we also change our political culture. The captain announced a fairly reasonable “aid package” on Tuesday, which under the circumstances, if implemented transparently, would certainly provide some relief to the poor, workers and people in need. His handling of journalists in a situation where his government faces criticism for the delay in the closure was impressive, he avoided answers to questions about his policy towards the media, but promised to discuss it soon.
I think the Prime Minister should have invited the four main ministers to the press conference. In our case, it would have been better if we had closed all our borders and expanded the first decision to ask Pakistanis who wanted to return home from Wuhan to stay behind and stop all international flights for some time as a precautionary measure. The decision was delayed.
Today, the country is closed when it comes to urban cities and those who have experienced the ‘curfew’ in the past is a situation similar to the curfew. Second, the decision not to close the border, particularly after the virus hit the Iranian city of Qom, turned out to be a fatal decision when the virus entered Pakistan through Taftan, where poor arrangements further aggravated the situation. .
Third, there is also a controversy over when the first case was positive. According to the record, Mr. Jaffery first testified in Karachi, but some sources said the first man tested positive in Islamabad but was held.
Fourth, Sindh surprised many, including some of its worst critics, and the government led by its Prime Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, emerged as the leader in handling an impossible situation through preventive, preventive and preventive measures. Each of their decisions in the last month has been followed, not only by the other provinces, but also by the Center. Sindh had proposed measures such as suspension of flights, intra-city and rail transportation, and “partial or complete closure” long before it was continued. The decision to close Karachi was difficult, not only because it is the economic center of the country but also the port city. But it was the right decision. Since the closure, Karachi’s environment has improved and street crime has reached zero, which in itself raised some other questions.
Furthermore, the role of the Prime Minister’s Health Advisor, Dr. Zafar Mirza, was outstanding, beginning with his decision on Pakistanis trapped in Wuhan. Fifth, the army has been called under Article 245 in aid of the civil power to ensure proper implementation of the “blockade”, and the National Disaster Management Authority, NDMA, has now assumed the leading role in supplying the required medical facilities.
Sixth, the nation’s response falls short, and there is reason to believe that due to confusion and misunderstanding of the virus’s danger, even the educated class took it seriously before the number of patients began. To increase.
Seventh, social welfare organizations played a positive role and should be supported. Eighth, the role of political and religious parties in all areas should also be appreciated. Finally, the post-virus scenario would also have far-reaching consequences for our economy, for which the country needs a national consensus and the Center should take the initiative. One can only hope that it will disappear in late April or May, but we must be prepared for the worst instead of waiting for it to come.
The writer is a senior columnist and analyst for GEO, The News, and Jang.