China and the Covid origins | By Haya Fatima Sehgal


China and the Covid origins

THE fact-finding mission of the origin of Covid-19 will give an interesting turn to say the least.

A bit of a surprise was felt as the Biden Administration ordered a ‘scientific’90-day probe into the origin of the virus. I do believe this was a sound decision for the sake of millions.

Whatever occurs will give some answers and may just quell the unease that is still felt about where the novel coronavirus, Covid-19 started from. There have been doubts surrounding the virus origins story which still persist.

This past year and a half, the world has been busy in a gruelling battle against the disease.

We have faced losses in multitudes; hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide occurred daily as the deadly virus seeped through our homes and left us shattered. It is estimated to now have 3.5 million deaths worldwide.

It is believed that the virus started in the city of Wuhan, China. There was the other speculation if this was something more deliberate which was earlier decried last year.

There remain stories of whether this was a lab leak where this virus was being studied in Wuhan.

Apart from this, we do not know much except that after over a year and half, there are regions in the world still battling this disease. Wave after variant ravages a majority of earth’s population as it is not fully vaccinated.

The facts may just help us move with a clear focus on better future development strategy to safeguard the human population.

By no means must this fact-finding probe be taken as a hyped-up conspiracy theory against China.

We must endeavour together to get to a better understanding of this deadly disease.

The world cannot be left blank as to why families were torn through with illness, loss of life, and a global recession which has taken away incomes and left a depressed state of being.

Pakistan is already facing a dilemma with vaccine hesitancy due to superstitious beliefs, misinformation, coupled with the fact that it is also struggling to get in more jabs for its ready population.

Recently there was news the new strain of the virus, variant B.1.617.2 also termed as ‘Delta’ has entered into Pakistan.

The world is a place of global allies, intertwining relationships that strengthen each other. These findings will be pivotal for the world dynamics.

The investment in science, technology, factual reports and increased focus on healthcare, discovery, innovation, and shared knowledge will see humanity through.

Health practitioners and experts are of the understanding that there has been a marked increase in depression and exacerbated mental health conditions due to the novel coronavirus. Disease, isolation, lockdowns, unemployment have led to anger, frustration and anxiety.

A note must also be given that the world must strive to keep balance and a clear perspective as there have been several random incidents of hate speech as well as attacks on the AAPI community.

The WHO has also advised against calling any strain of the virus by location-based names.

It has been seen that certain location-based names created a backlash onto that community’s Diaspora.

The answers of this scientific probe will bring clarity. It will not reverse the immense destruction this virus has caused, but it will provide some solutions to create better future systems and certainly an increase in global welfare. It will also put many thoughts to rest on the matter.

For the average human who has suffered losses or been through the throes of this devastating disease, they will have a better understanding of simply this: what really happened.

—The writer, based in Islamabad, is known for her articles on cultural impact.