Things left to coronavirus to decide in Pakistan

Things left to coronavirus to decide in Pakistan

Pak Chronicle Report


Since relaxation in lockdown in Pakistan and imposition of smart lockdown the markets are overcrowded and in reality there is no lockdown in the country at the moment with a few exceptions.

It seems things have been left to coronavirus to do whatever it wants in Pakistan. Now it is up to coronavirus which is known as corona in the country as what would it like to do.

Practically there was no lockdown in the country when it was announced after its outbreak over here as social distancing concept was never achieved successfully.

Pakistan’s first coronaviurs registered on February 26: Pakistan had detected its first two cases of novel coronavirus on February 26 as public health advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan had confirmed it in his tweet on the same day.

This had happened after Islamabad closed its land border with Iran, where 19 people had died from the virus.

Pandemic never taken seriously as was required: Since then cases of novel coronavirus continue to surface in Pakistan from all over the country. However, this dilemma was never taken as seriously as it was supposed to be. A few following facts would justify that Pakistani authorities were taking the outbreak of coronavirus very lightly.

PSL matches and coronavirus spread: Despite the outbreak of the pandemic, Pakistani authorities opted to continue with matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL). One may wonder whether they (authorities concerned) had absolutely no idea that how virus gets spread. The PSL matches started taking place from February 20 to mid of March in crowded stadiums.

Educational institutions were closed in Sindh on orders of Sindh Government after the pandemic outbreak but PSL matches continued to be played in the National Stadium Karachi and other stadiums of the country.

This scribe has seen some witty comments on social media in which it was stated that corona is a very learned virus which attacks only schools, colleges and universities. However, according to these comments it avoids mixing with fans of cricket who prefer to enjoy matches in cricket stadiums.

The PSL matches were suspended/cancelled only when a foreign cricket player was detected having symptoms of coronavirus. Otherwise authorities concerned had no issue of whatsoever to hold final of the league after holding knockdown stages of the tournament.

Things were not limited to it and the issue of virus had to be acknowledged yet.

Religious congregation takes places despite outbreak of coronavirus:  A Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation that took place in Lahore’s Raiwind Markaz in early March 2020 is considered a coronavirus super-spreader event with more than hundreds of confirmed cases linked to the event which were reported across the country.

Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry blamed the “stubbornness of the clergy” for the event having gone ahead despite the worsening coronavirus pandemic. However, basically it was the responsibility of the government to have a check on this matter and it was supposed to take every measure which was required to control the pandemic.

According to some reports approximately 70,000 to 80,000 members had attended the congregation at the Raiwind Markaz on 10 March, with the majority being from various parts of Pakistan and 3,000 attendees from 40 foreign countries.

Quarantine Centre at Taftan, another dilemma:  Moreover, in March hundreds of pilgrims were held at a quarantine centre at Taftan, Balochistan who had returned from Iran after visiting religious sites over there. According to some estimates this quarantine facility was accommodating around 4,600 persons.

These persons who were held at this facility had been complaining about poor hygienic conditions at the quarantine camp which was setup at the Taftan border. The authorities concerned miserably failed to keep distance between the persons who were held there. Apparently this facility proved to be a nursery for the spread of coronavirus due to poor arrangements over there.

Little done to avoid pandemic spread: According to Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan he was very watchful when this epidemic broke in neighbouring country China. However, little arrangements were made over here despite the open threat of its outbreak in Pakistan. The authorities concerned were just watchful and alerted as claimed by them but they practically did nothing to avoid or control coronavirus in the country.

Hoarders minted money out of crisis: Just opposite to the government’s strategy the hoarders proved themselves much smarter and they sensed huge profits in things which were required by the common citizens to adopt as the prevention measure.

The hoarders made things disappeared like hand-sanitizers, facemasks and other equipment from the market which could be used to avoid the spread of the virus.

Later on they minted money on these items by selling them on much higher rates.

Smart lockdown means no lockdown: Now as the smart lockdown is in place in the country which is factually a ‘no lockdown’ like situation so it seems that matters have been left to coronavirus to decide in Pakistan. Now it’s up to the virus whether it excuses the Pakistani nation or cause further destruction.


Another view of Raja Bazar, Rawalpindi after imposition of smart lockdown

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