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COVID-19 Pandemic

What Went Wrong With Pakistan During COVID-19 Pandemic?

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Thousands of Muslim preachers attended the Tablighi Jamaat, have tested positive

“We are going to be fine.” Michael Levitt, a Stanford biophysicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013 made this bold statement of hope after observing strict social distancing measures are being implemented across the world. But the hope may soon collapse while traveling to Pakistan. The eastern part of the country, which is the second-most populous country in South Asia, led to fresh concerns over COVID-19 among citizens.

Pakistan brought together tens of thousands of Muslim preachers from about 80 countries including nationals from Palestine and Kyrgyzstan who attended the Tablighi Jamaat meet that ended on March 12. Four people from Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh who attended the gathering were infected with the virus. Now the government is scared of the spread of coronavirus that may have infected thousands. 

The unfortunate rise

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region continued to report more cases and fatalities due to COVID-19. While Pakistan was prepared before it had any case, eventually reported cases more than they predicted. A total of 21 people have recovered while the tally of confirmed cases is at 1,130, with nine fatalities, as of Thursday.

According to reports, the officials find the reason behind this unfortunate rise in cases is that Pakistan has a low per capita income compared to other countries like Italy and China. “It is important to keep the economy afloat and at the same time, keep people safe from the pandemic,” they said.

Why Pakistan cannot afford total lockdown?

On Sunday, March 22, Prime Minister Imran Khan once again urged Pakistani citizens to keep calm and not panic.

Pakistan cannot afford to impose a total lockdown. 25% of the people in the country live below the poverty line. What will happen to them if I go ahead with the lockdown?” the prime minister said in an address to the nation.

Ninety percent of the people who get coronavirus recover after a few days. If the virus spreads, it is the elderly and the weak who will suffer and will have to go to the hospitals,” he remarked.

The Prime Minister requested people to stop attending gatherings and weddings and start staying at home to ensure minimum spread of the virus. Citing China’s example, he said that Pakistan could also come out of this pandemic if the public was disciplined and practiced self-isolation.



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