Another grim landmark has been passed as the nation recorded 100,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. This again comes with the solemn reminder that the worst is yet to come from the deadly disease which has killed over 2000 in the country.
The healthcare system, already in shambles from lack of resources and underfunding, is on the verge of collapse. Doctors and paramedics are exhausted and have even fallen victims to the virus. Hospitals, even the elite ones charging exorbitant rates, are operating beyond capacity and cannot handle more patients.
The prime minister has addressed the nations on several occasions in the past few days and the only message is that the situation would worsen. Pakistan is expected to reach its peak in the number of coronavirus cases by mid-July and that is when we will feel the real heat. Pakistan ranks among the riskiest for the coronavirus and the real numbers of case infections have not been ascertained till now.
The only recourse that is being provided is to wear a face mask at all times in public. Many cities have imposed fines on motorists failing to wear to mask. In densely populated areas, social distancing is rather improbable and the only solution is to wear a mask that can save lives. Even the WHO has recommended wearing face masks which can reduce the risk of the disease by at least half.
The prime minister has expressed concerns over the rising number of cases but also reiterated that there is no going back to another lockdown. According to him, the nation cannot afford the economic consequences of a lockdown which affects those depending on daily hand-to-mouths earnings. The public has no option but to protect itself now by observing all safety precautions.
Despite the observance of social distancing, many prominent personalities including parliamentarians have been infected while some have even succumbed to the virus. The virus has been infecting even the elite and this proves that it is real and not a hoax. Yet, many people are unconvinced that the virus is a threat and are continuing their normal lives.
Pakistan has been facing two crises at the same time: coronavirus and ignorance. While the war against the virus can be fought and defeated, the fight against ignorance is a tough one. In such a situation, we would have no one to blame but our attitude and carelessness for the deteriorating situation in the country.
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