COVID-19 and its effects
In December 2019, Wuhan, a city in china, a pneumonia was reported due to unknown factors. Hundreds and thousands of people affected. In the early stage china, as any country would do, did not bother it spread due to soup of the bat. When the situation got worst, china reported WHO Country Office in China on 31 December 2019. WHO is working 24/7 to analyse data, provide advice, coordinate with partners, help countries prepare, increase supplies and manage expert networks.
WHO and the European Investment Bank (EIB) used to boost cooperation to strengthen public health, supply of essential equipment, training, and investment in countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase will address urgent needs and strengthen primary health care in ten African countries. The agreement establishes a close collaboration to overcome market failure and stimulate investments in global health, accelerating progress towards Universal Health Coverage.
The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020. On 11 February 2020, WHO announced a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19.
Corona Outbreak and Pakistan:
In the early phase, government and people of Pakistan didn’t take it seriously and till 10th march everything was normal but in the last week of March 2020, the government started realising that situation is not as normal it looks. Firstly, the government decided to lock down all the educational institutions in Pakistan including schools, colleges and universities then after one week, the whole country went on lockdown due to corona pandemic. Day by day, as the time passed, the situation got worst when the number of cases started to rise and the death rate started to rise. The whole country was given to army control with the help of civil administration.
After two weeks, the government decided to relax the lockdown and named it smart lockdown due to which construction sector was allowed to work so that our laborious class would not affect. But the situation went on and now people are fed up and they want to completely cancel the lockdown that as it seems it is very difficult for the people to stay at home and to do nothing.
Government is thinking of relaxation in lockdown due to the current situation in Pakistan as said Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar. They are intended to open up businesses step by step because if this decision is not taken then, people will have to face closure of millions of small institutions, unemployment of 18m people and 70m people below the poverty line He gave many reasons, why should we relax lockdown? He said we are living in a region where we have a naturally high immune system, hotter weather and many vaccines, we took in our childhood. The question arises, are we able to face the relaxation effects? If so, what would be the scenario of that situation?
There are 3600 deaths per year in road accidents, as the minister said but it does not mean that we should close the roads. The Situation is different here, coronavirus is invisible and if one person is infected, it goes as a chain reaction from two to three and so on. Government’s testing capacity is only 9500 and it is far away from the target of 2500 tests per day. If the lockdown is lifted, then there is a possibility that the government should proceed with mass testing and interim relief approach with worst-hit departments. There is no easy solution but we still have to take bold decisions.
Apart from many cases, which are being reported as 22000 and the death rate is 2%. But the backbone of the healthcare system, which is helping and treating the patients from 24 hours, including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, should also be discussed. There are facing issues as well, which are not being addressed like complete medical facilitation, N95 masks, protecting kits.
Many healthcare worker’s test is positive. They are either isolated at home or working with the enthusiasm in the hospitals. 450 doctors are confirmed with positive coronavirus. Majority of the doctors is from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh is not far behind than this. News is heard that government is planning to lift the lockdown for sake of people but if the precautionary measures are not taken then corona cases will raise exponentially, unlike USA, Italy, Pakistan don’t have such health systems so that government would face such wave.
The government must do everything in its power to protect our healthcare workers. Priority must be given to manufacturing or procuring personal protective equipment; ramping up daily testing, which is still less than half of the targeted 25,000, and training healthcare staff on how to limit the spread of the virus inside the hospital through strict protocols.
Lockdown and Feeling of Responsibility:
The most important thing in Pakistan, which lacks in many people is the responsibility. There is found a non-serious attitude from many areas of Pakistan regarding this current pandemic. National database and registration authority (NADRA) is opened from Monday, but it has been seen a very weird attitude from the people as there is no social distancing, which is necessary as per precautions we should measure. Almost 2200 people came and they were lined up like jam-pack gathering. In such situations or any other local bazaars where people are not taking it seriously as it should be. We should have to take our responsibility as a mature citizen so that we could control it rather than we would be responsible for its expansion if this happens, then there would be of no use of suck lockdown where is being continued from many weeks.
It has one solution, whoever the person shows negligence in practising social distancing, that person should be forced to stay in quarantine centre for a day or it should be made him visited in any hospital so that he could understand the severity of coronavirus. All the institutions should practice an activity in their offices that every single person should be passed through corona test activity because when people used to work in a congested environment, there are more chances for corona to be expanded.
The whole world is waiting for the vaccine, which is being prepared in almost 90 laboratories in the world. Its heard that oxford university lab is very near in making the vaccine of COVID-19. This vaccine is prepared by doing tests on many monkeys as monkeys are very close to humans in structure and behaviour. It is expected that within a week, it would be announced. Another question arises, why do we no include in 90 countries which are preparing that vaccine? How is the education system of Pakistan? When would we be able to line up our self in this field? We used to link our every problem to the early days of Pakistan when we got separation from Britain and made our own country. It’s fine to accept the argument that in the early days of Pakistan were very difficult but what did other governments do after that? Are they not responsible for it? We have three education systems madrassah, Urdu medium and English medium. Until when we don’t make our single syllabus, single education system, it is not possible to excel in any desired field.
Lockdown and Kashmir:
Kashmir is facing the worst era of their history. Kashmir is in lockdown since August 2019. It’s another debate that they are struggling for their rights from years but a wave of cruelty and oppression is being observed from the last few months when Muslim majority areas have been seen with the police beating local persons with sticks and legs and other military equipment.
They are in a state of trauma and are facing psychological and mental problems in Kashmir. The psychiatrists, which are only 60 in Kashmir, there is seen a great increase in the number of patients from teenager to old ones as well. Due to oppression and cruelty, many cases have been reported of domestic violence and street quarrels. It’s inhuman to make people stay in their houses without doing anything.
The same lockdown is being observed in all over the world. Kashmiri people are now posting and sharing such slogans “how is the lockdown”. The same business and domestic and economic issues are facing all the countries of the world. Every bad situation comes with a blessing so the world should realize the Kashmir issue as well so that only dispute in the world could be resolved.
Lockdown: positive and negative aspects
Every crisis in the world always triggers some factors which last for a very long time. In the same way, coronavirus also put impacts in many ways.
Firstly, the environment looks clean and fresh due to the closure of factories and traffic and other factors as well. In Pakistan or Europe or USA, if we compare two factors, like the level of population and death rate are seen an exponentially decrease in pollution index factor. In the European study, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, coronavirus deaths across 66 administrative regions of Italy, France, Spain and Germany were analysed. It found that 78 per cent of the deaths occurred in just five regions - those five regions were the most polluted.
The other study, published by Harvard University, collected air quality data from 3,000 counties across the US and concluded that just a slight increase in PM2.5, atmospheric particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, which is about 3 per cent of the diameter of a human hair, was associated with a 15 per cent increase in COVID-19 deaths. The devastating impact of air pollution on our health seems clearer now than ever. And it is not just coronavirus. From mothers holding babies suffering from respiratory illnesses in hospitals in Afghanistan and Mongolia to an Italian city covered in toxic dust and workers breathing in toxic fumes in Bangladesh and Kenya, we explore the impact of air pollution on human health.
COVID-19 and future of the World:
As we see history, every natural disaster or pandemic always change the worldwide scenario. It affects the mood and behaviour of the people too. As World War I and World War II ended, it lasted its aftereffects. It is predicted that it would change the world. It would change the environment, relationships between the countries, national policies of the countries, health budgets and many more. As we are tackling with this pandemic, the pandemic is causing 150000 death and millions of confirmed infections. As it is declared as an international catastrophe, it hit the USA, Australia, England and other European countries with an enmity of deaths.
The deadly virus leads to a devastating impact on the world economy since 9/11 and the financial crisis of 2008. It hit the social and financial and economical lives as well, originated from China and it hit the china with severity with a sudden decrease in 20% GDP in the first two months of 2020. It includes the automobile industry with sank a record 80% and shrank exports by 17% in January and February combines.
Likewise, earlier in March, the US stock market took only 15 days to plunge into bear territory, which is a 20% drop from its peak. Even mainstream financial firms such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan, are expecting a contraction in the US GDP by an annual rate of 6% in the first, and between 24% and 30% in the second quarter. The US Treasury Secretary has alerted that the redundancy rates could rise steeply way over 20%, which is twice the peak levels of 2008 financial crisis.
As governments impose strict lockdowns and consumers stay at home, tourism and travel-related industries are among the worst-hit at sector level. The International Air Transport Association warns that virus outbreak can cost worldwide air carriers between $63 billion and $113 billion in proceeds in 2020. With major disruptions confronting sporting events, restaurants, and other services, shares of main hotel companies have also nosedived in the last few weeks. Similarly, the global film industry is expected to lose over $5 billion in lower box office revenues.
Unless governments around the world stop Covid-19’s progression and relax social-distancing controls too soon, the human toll and economic impacts will remain earth-shattering. The coronavirus is seriously threatening the stability of the entire global financial system. So far, national governments have declared essentially uncoordinated and country-specific responses to the contagion to cushion their economies. Now is the time for policy-makers to employ coherent, coordinated, and credible strategy actions to mitigate the economic fallouts and protect the most vulnerable in our societies from what is already and sadly a social calamity.