According to the data collected by Johns Hopkins University USA, 1,026,974 cases of Covid19 have been reported globally in which 53,975 patients have died while 217,433 individuals have recovered successfully. Till 2nd April 2020, 2450 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Pakistan, out of which 928 cases are in Punjab, 783 cases in Sindh, 311 cases in KP, 68 in Islamabad, 190 in Gilgit Baltistan region, 169 in Balochistan, and 9 in Pakistani-administered Kashmir. 37 patients have so far died due to the disease while 126 have recovered successfully in Pakistan till today.
Pakistan Government has responded to the situation by imposing country wide partial lockdown while enforcing complete lockdown in hotspots. A large number of quarantine centers and isolation centers have been established and NDMA alongwith provincial governments are bracing up for the expected surge in corona virus. However, to control the spread of virus, only government restrictive measures are not sufficient and are required to be fully supported by the public. Here arises an important question: are we as a society playing our part in fight against corona virus? Let’s examine our response as a society and our role so far in controlling the virus.
The first and the foremost requirement to control the spread is to maintain social distancing and avoid mingling. While urban areas such as Peshawar and Mardan are generally following government advise, rural areas are still maintaining normal routine. Despite police efforts, public is still reluctant to follow instructions on social distancing and constant violations are prevalent all over KP. This has led to spread of the virus in far flung areas where cases are emerging in clusters.
False sense of security:
Strangely, there is a large strength who still thinks that they cannot catch the coronavirus and consider it a hoax. They are not ready to take the threat seriously and is putting the lives of entire nation in jeopardy. Various incidents have been reported by media, where, people are reluctant to remain confine within quarantine centers and are confronting police and government officials. This attitude has spread the virus in clusters in some parts such as Manga Mardan and Lower Dir where a single individual infected the entire family or area. Later on, complete Tehsils had to be cordoned off to control the situation, putting extra burden on the resources.
Helping the needy
We are among the top charitable nation of the world, the same is on display even in this crisis, where plethora of welfare organizations and philanthropists have come forward to help the poor. Organizations such as as Al Khidmat foundation are complimenting authority’s relief efforts. However, strangely United Nation mandated NGOs have not yet initiated any relief efforts and are generally missing from the canvas. Sadly, there are also reports of hoarding to create artificial shortage of essential commodities which are directly affecting the low-income population.
Role of Media towards coronavirus:
Print and electronic media is playing a vital role in controlling the spread of virus. Extensive coverage is given to virus related news and masses are engaged through various methods to follow precautionary measures. However, constant bantering about deaths and virus is also spreading panic among masses. Social Media is also contributing to the panic through fake messages and misinformation. Such psychological pressure and panic affects immunity and may also lead to unnecessary stocking and hoarding.
Corona is a global pandemic which is spreading in the entire globe with a rapid pace. There has no treatment developed for the disease so far and the only way to control the spread is through care and following precautionary measures. Only government vigilance or urgency won’t be able to bear fruit without public support. We should all play our part in controlling this pandemic before it is too late leading us to Italy like situation.