Regarding, the government’s response to coronavirus, on March 13, the first meeting of the National Security Council (NHC) took place. The Prime Minister of Pakistan chaired the NHC meeting which includes top military and civil leadership. The purpose of the meeting was to look at the alarming threat to the health system. So he asked the relevant persons to lay out a plan and likewise inform him on this matter.
On the other hand, the first case of coronavirus registered on February 26th. The person visited Iran recently. His contacts traced and isolated quickly. In short, until March 12, the total number of cases was 21 in Pakistan. For live stats, visit here.
But there is a need for a strict action plan. Imran Khan on his speech on March 17, asked,” While there is a need for caution but no need to panic (Ghabrana Nahi hai).” He said that we can not completely lock down the country. Because of doing this, daily wagers can die out of hunger instead of coronavirus. For instance, India completely locked down the country without taking the view of the people who are below the poverty line. But Pakistan has the largest number of cases in South Asia, far more than its neighbor, India. Before any registered case, Pakistan decided not to strand the 800 students in Wuhan, Chian returned to the country.
According to the 18th Amendment to the constitution of Pakistan, it gives semi-autonomous status to provinces to adopt a different course of action from the central government. As a result, we saw varying lockdowns intensity in Sindh, Pakistan’s largest province hit by Taftan visitors. The government kept the visitors in camps for 14 days and let them go after screening. After that, they were allowed to return back to their homes and villages. But a large number of people got positive in their reports when tested by local health care workers. However, health experts alleged that people were badly mishandled by authorities. This provides the place to call military aid “act in aid of civil powers” but not until formally invited.
PM and President Steps
The Prime Minister of Pakistan has approved an economic fund of 1 Trillion rupees for people to help them in crisis. Meanwhile, the President of Pakistan visited China to learn from them as they have declined the number of cases now. Beijing pledged to help Pakistan as they now dealt with reducing the number of cases. The team from China has also come to help out.
Ministry of Health Services
As a result of this pandemic, the Ministry of Health Service has laid out a plan which shows the intention go government to respond to this outbreak.
- A national effort to respond to COIVD-19 emergency in Pakistan
- Minimal National Morbidity and Mortality
Developing a structure ensuring timely response and plan for all pandemics.
Problems to Government
Above all, the government is doing all its efforts to stop this pandemic. But people are not serious about taking precautions. They allow their kids to play on grounds. Upon closing the grounds, they go to the open area for playing. Their parents are unwilling to quarantine them to crowded homes. Pakistan is the world’s fifth populous country.
Similarly, the clerical community is refusing to help the government. They have not stopped large gatherings and offering prayers. About 150,000 clerics from around the world helped spread the virus in a religious gathering. Pakistan’s cases have risen from 250, a few weeks before to 1098 after that. The officials canceled it but participants already scale, eating, sleeping and living in close quarters.
Steps announced by Government
Ten steps announced by the government to prevent this pandemic in Pakistan which are:
- National Coordination Committee for coronavirus (COVID-19) will make decisions on a daily basis.
- All educational institutions, both public and private, are closed till 31st May.
- Pakistan will completely seal its border with Afghanistan and Iran for travelers and trades.
- Katarpur will be closed for Pakistani but Indians pilgrims will keep visiting.
- Pakistan will departure international flights from Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad for effective screens travelers.
- The government put a ban on all public gatherings and conferences.
- To prevent coronavirus, no visiting allowed in prisoners.
- The government will reach to religious leaders to work out the modalities for effective management of religious services.
- The government will devise a plan to avoid food supply shortcomings.
- National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will cooperate with the district and provincial for necessary implementations.
A corona relief tiger force will be working with government and security agencies. The force will provide food to people if we forced to lockdown.
In short, the government has taken many steps on its behalf to avoid the separation of the pandemic. It will be achieved by the mutual corporation of people and the government. Because if we forced to lockdown, many peoples will die out to hunger. It is only possible by the individual and collective efforts. We should not be a hurdle in the way of prevention. Instead, we should play our role in this. For instance, Instacre is providing free consultation for coronavirus.