The government of Pakistan is doing its best to contain the coronavirus pandemic by imposing a lockdown. The infected counts are deceptively low more because of our reliance on the daily sick reports than provocative testing of the general public.
The dissipation of Non-technical information and negative criticism is apparently adding to the confusion in the hierarchy.
The Response to Coronavirus infection:
The response to the pandemic was universally belated. The world simply watched the Chinese fighting the deadly virus without realizing the forthcoming dangers.
Pakistan is a densely populated country where more than 25% of the people survive before the poverty line.
Malnutrition, crowded living, and unhygienic environment are responsible for most of the infections like polio, typhoid, cholera, and tuberculosis which have been eradicated from the developed world.
The panic actually spread after watching an alarming proportion of the infections and coronavirus related deaths in the Europe and United States of America.
Pakistan has imposed a strict lockdown since 23rd march, 2020. There is international and domestic travel restriction which has virtually paralyzed the country regardless of the aforementioned limitations.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) is an airborne infection of the respiratory tract caused by a virus that belongs to the CORONAVIRADAE family.
The presence of the CORONAVIRUS in stools suggests other modes of transmission including fecal-oral and contact with environmental surfaces.
From the entry of the virus in the bloodstream to symptoms-onset in an infected patient takes (incubation period) ranges from 1 – 14 days [Ref].
It starts like flu and progresses to pneumonia which is less than 2% of the patient. 80% of patients recover without any special treatment. However, at-risk individuals may develop a pneumonic-like illness.
Pneumonic illness manifests as shortness of breath with or without exertion and impaired gas exchange resulting in loss of consciousness and possible death.
The vulnerable groups include extremes of ages, diabetics, patients with hypertension & heart diseases, patients with chronic lung diseases, patients with organ failure, those with cancers, those on chemotherapy, and patients with immunodeficiency.
The only glimmer of hope, considering the high infectivity of the virus is a low mortality rate. There is not treatment, unfortunately, though, except a few experimental antiviral and antimalarial drugs.
Prevention seems to be the only cure. General principles of personal hygiene are effective. High rates of infectivity and re-infection indicate an inadequate immune response of the host. This may even indicate a possible failure to prepare a vaccine and plasma infusion therapy.
Impact of Coronavirus lockdown:
The impact of lockdown in our country is gradually becoming palpable in society. Besides an obvious financial crunch on the government and general public, the more important adversity is the simmering fear, panic, and psychosocial aberrations which may evolve into aggression and civil unrest.
We are a resolute nation, however, sanity must prevail if we wish to contain the ongoing challenge.
How can the government tackle the situation?
We suggest a partial coronavirus lockdown so as to balance the sufferings of our poor people. These are just a few of the suggestions and anyone can disagree with it:
- The Provincial government and the opposition must work in harmony with the federal government in making key decisions and future planning.
- A complete lockdown has not served any purpose, if at all in the western world.
- There is a definite spread of the virus in crowded living, so a partial lockdown appears to be a more sensible strategy to alleviate the financial sufferings amongst the poor.
- Shopping centers, Bazars, and hospitals may be allowed to remain open between 08 am to 6 pm.
- If a partial coronavirus lockdown is not feasible, it’s an obligation on the government to ensure to maintain the chain of food to every registered family.
- The affluent must contribute irrespective of their political affiliation.
- It is high time to plead forgiveness from the almighty. Hence, all places of worship should remain open with strict advice for the use of masks and general sanitation.
We earnestly hope that these measures will not only help a common man but also help in alleviating the financial losses being borne by the government.