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What Pakistan should do to contain the spread of novel coronavirus?

As of now, each and every thing is relatable to pandemic of Coronavirus. Businesses; technology; transportation network including rail, road, and air transport; services everything is getting effected out of fear of spreading coronavirus.

Governments are confronting the monstar of Coronavirus since it first emerged in China last December.

In a scenario where world’s best health systems are trying to coup with structural flaws in healthcare facilities, number of physicians as well as other staff in case of unusual surge in the cases, a third world country like Pakistan has to adopt smart approach to contain the spread of viruses.

One of the biggest issue with our country is large swathe of illiterate people. Despite knowing the severity of the disease, people just give a shit to the pre-emptive measures like frequent handwash and social distancing.

Sindh is one of the most effective area right now but as we look around the streets of Karachi, the activities are same as usual.

Once you move around, it looks like coronavirus is not more than a hoax to the countrymen. Given the socio-economic status of the county’s population this attitude is acceptable as the state of complete lockdown will infect thousands with the epidemic of poverty.

As of now about 176 countries have been affected due to Covid-19, and more than 10,000 people have died and more than 245,000 infected by the disease.

Pakistani government is doing some efforts to contain the spread of disease in which the steps like closing of educational institutions, both public and private til April 5, 2020, border seal with Afghanistan and Iran for two weeks for both travellers and trade, closure of Kartarpur for Pakistani citizens alone with the exclusion of Indians.

Suspenion of all inbound international flights into the country from 8: 00pm local time tonight until April 4 over coronavirus fears.

All public gatherings and large conferences have been banned with immediate effect. Wedding halls and cinemas will be closed for two weeks.

No visitors would be allowed in prisons for three weeks, and no cases are scheduled for the three weeks.

Plans are also there to devise a comprehensive food strategy to avoid any food shortages or hoarding in the coming weeks.

Currently some 252 cases have been reported from Sindh alone. The number of reported cases for Punjab, KPK, Balochistan, ICT, Gilgit Baltistan, and AJK are; 252, 96, 23, 92, 07, 30, and 01 respectively.

Pakistan has so far screened 894,256 travellers, according to the March 12 report by National Institute of Health (NIH).

 

A brief overview of pandemics of the past – source: WHO.


Steps which should be undertaken:

  • Representatives of the community such as numberdars, councillors, nazims should be mobilised to sensitize the community about maintaining cleanliness in recent pandemic.
  • Religious gatherings must be banned to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.
  • In house social as well as cultural gatherings must also be banned.
  • Masks, surgical gowns and eye gear should be made available to medical staff in order to protect them from the virus.
  • Allocation of nationwide funds to enhance the testing facility.
  • Subsidizing soaps as well as sanitizers .
  • Stern and immediate action against the hoarders.
  • Paid leaves to the government as well as private workers who are in need to spend two weeks in quarantine.
  • Sufficient availability of hospital beds, staff, and ventilators.
  • Proper arrangements at quarantine facilities.
  • Health workers must also be mobilised to check the symptoms in their communities and to separate the people with coronavirus symptoms.
  • Disinfectants be sprayed on pathways.
  • People must be encouraged to stay inside their homes and for this some relief program should be launched to financially help the poor and low income people.
  • Contact tracing of the infected ones and sharing their details on national television for informing their near and peers.
  • Rigorous testing would help Pakistan to arrest the spread of novel coronavirus as early as possible. Thousands of the suspended persons should be tested on daily basis. 
  • Recent coronavirus pandemic can be a signal for change for a third world country like Pakistan. It’s like an opportunity for the world to adopt a more rigorous approach towards the world hygiene, and digital revolution.
  • Communities must be encouraged to arrange disinfectant sprays for their respective localities by collecting funds from inhabitants. 
  • Isolation of the positive cases and strict border control measures can help fight Pakistan. 
  • Businesses must be encouraged to prepare the sufficient number of ventilators. 
  • Movement of people should be managed via GPS tracking devices especially in areas that are worst effected.

 

About Noshin Bashir

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