COVID-19 pandemic shattered the globe with increasing death toll, creating chaos and destroying economy. Countries with the strongest economy failed to cope with the loss. In such conditions countries like Pakistan with an already unstable economy and health system is on the verge of more loss than the developed nations.
Country, where university hostels have been converted into quarantine centers and health officials, couldn’t get safety kits is acting so irresponsible. Our whole lifestyle has changed from the education system to business. But the stubbornness of our citizens to not practice social/physical distancing remains the same. Sadly we have learned nothing from other countries.
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Pakistan was reported on 29th of February 2020. First death was reported on 31st march. Pakistan adapted no preventive measures before first case irrespective of the worst conditions in neighboring countries, Iran and China. The situation in Pakistan was less serious as compared to these countries. Pakistan took notice of the Pak-Iran border and international flights after the virus has been reported.
Sensing the severity of the problem Government of Pakistan has decided to establish quarantine centers at borders as well as lockdown in major cities. The country suffered badly to establish proper quarantine centers as well as providing people with basic necessities while staying at home. Response of government towards COVID-19 is one problem while the irresponsible behavior of citizens is the second major issue. The major problem in quarantine centers was the unavailability of doctors, medicines, food, and water with unhygienic conditions.
Partial lockdown with no emphasis on social distancing is another problem. Educational institutes were closed thus shifting to online education. The problem faced by students includes slow net speed in their respective areas. For example, students from Gilgit Baltistan and other mountainous areas face slow net speed. There are areas near borderline where even mobile phone service is not properly operational.
Putting the country on complete lockdown with 7 million daily wage workers is quite difficult. The purpose of partial lockdown was to help daily wage workers to go to their workplace as well as restrict unnecessary interaction. Relaxation in lockdown for Eid shopping resulted in a storm of people in markets without any responsibility to practice social distancing.
Major markets and shops in Karachi and 11 shopping centers in Rawalpindi have been sealed over violating the COVID-19 SOPs. A country with fewer ventilators and a lack of basic health care facilities can’t put the community at a risk. Amidst the global pandemic, our people are acting selfishly. This quarantine period has taught us nothing. When the world is conveying a message of unity, we are roaming in markets fearlessly.
When going out shopping just remind yourself that we have few ventilators, no vaccine, and ineffective quarantine centers. You have only one life to enjoy many Eids. To sacrifice the celebrations of one Eid for this precious life is not a big deal. People around us are sacrificing their jobs, careers, education, and important assets to just make this country and world corona free.
by: Ayesha Mushtaq