Voice of the People

353

Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.

Stigmatising COVID-19 infected

A doctor in Karachi infected with COVID-19 chose not to go to hospital but remain in his house, because of inhumane manner in which patients suffering from this pandemic have been treated by administration. He died under tragic circumstances. Why should patients, such as this doctor feel stigma associated with this pandemic?
By the time the first patient tested positive, an SOP (Testing, tracing, treating) approved by WHO had been laid down and all we had to do was to adopt it. The Federal Government should have declared Medical Emergency by acquiring all civil, military and private hospitals and clinics to meet this challenge, pooling available infrastructure. Hospitals which cater to specific sicknesses like cancer, cardiology-related issues etc, should have been excluded and instead all such patients in other hospitals shifted there. Instead what followed was chaos. Health specialists should have been placed at helm and their instructions followed.
What made matters worse was confusion created by federal and provincial governments with their conflicting statements. Blaming middle class which lives in DHA/Gulberg Lahore was a bad idea. The elite that decide fate of this country live in farm houses, spread over several acres, totally secluded from citizens. The administration given task to manage this pandemic lacked basic skills to handle patients while simultaneously ensuring that their sensitivities and self-respect are not tarnished.
People infected could have been approached discreetly instead of loads of security personnel invading their privacy, making a spectacle. The infected should have choice of self-isolation at their residence provided they have sufficient rooms. People were infected because State failed to follow proper procedures to quarantine those who returned from COVID-19 infected countries at our border crossings and airports, with many leaving without any protocol being followed.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Lahore

Easing lockdown

The government has decided to ease lock down step-by-step. Of course, our dwindling economy cannot see shutters down for a longer period of time. Those who face the brunt of situation are daily-wage workers with no earnings. Sadly! In these testing times people have manipulated facts and drawn money from PM scheme meant for the poor. On the other hand the curve of pandemic is still rising.
Medical experts are worried for sharp increase of covid-19 patients in big cities. So far, only AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan have controlled the spread of pandemic. We are venturing on the most difficult phase of pandemic. With eased lock-down, movement of people will increase manifold, definitively increasing the risk of infection. With majority of people still unaware of the fatality of covid-19, such situation can be greatly harmful. To overcome these crises following SOPs is the best option for all and sundry.
Imran Khan’s example of Angelina Markel that she asked her fellow Germans to abide by SOPs is a serious message for us if we want to protect our lives from pandemic. Safe distancing, avoiding unnecessary movement, use of sanitizers and masks, health consciousness are key factors to avoid spread of this lethal pandemic. Strength of a nation is tested during hard times, we must show strength, valour & courage and unity among our ranks to defeat this pandemic.
IFTIKHAR MIRZA
Islamabad

India’s lockdown

The Indian government is just harassing us. First, the Prime Minister said that the lockdown would end on April 14. Then he said it would end on April 30. Then he said it would end on May 3. Then he said it would end on 18 May.
Now he says it will continue even beyond that. Mr PM, please make up your mind and please don’t keep us waiting. We have better things to do. We just can’t sit 24×7 inside the house. The Coronavirus pandemic is not going to end till November.
JUBEL D’CRUZ
Mumbai, India

Supporting SMEs during COVID19

When Coronavirus has left most of us economically deprived, SMEs in Pakistan are also greatly affected being unprepared for such circumstances. According to SMEDA’s survey, “the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs”, 95% of SMEs reported that COVID-19 and lockdown have caused a reduction of their operations, 92% reported disruption in their supply chain and 23% revealed 100% loss in their exports. In response to these crises, government and other private companies should formulate strategies to minimize the negative impact while supporting a small business which contributes 30% of the GDP and 25 % of manufactured goods exports in Pakistan.
During this time, the government should help SMEs to take their business online to survive during this pandemic. However, these crises will take at least two years or more for SMEs to settle down. Companies like Karandaaz should also support such small businesses financially to share their burden. It’s a tough time for small businesses, but with our support, we can make it easy for them.
M ALAMGIR KHAN
Islamabad

Language injustice

Social media reports reveal that Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited,( PTCL) -the national telecommunication company in Pakistan- has just presented another language to its Customer Services ?ýHelpline in Pashto, but at the cost of Sindhi language in its provincial capital Karachi. The people of Sindh, Sindhis living around the world and also all those who believe in equality and justice protest against this prejudice, discrimination and unfair treatment of the PTCL management meted out to Sindhi language which is a language of the oldest civilization since 5000 years, spoken by more than 80 million peace loving people and understood world over.
How long will the PTCL management judge unjustly? Whoever sows injustice will have to reap calamity. However, the PTCL top management is requested to take notice of this injustice against Sindhi language and it should be accorded its due place in its Customer Services ?ýHelpline.
HASHIM ABRO
Islamabad

Falling apple

It is almost three and a half centuries back during Great Plague of London, Isaac Newton in his early 20s came up with the concept of gravity. It is a matter of great concern that why that falling apples do not do same wonders in our piece of land. We do not face shortage of young creative minds like Newton. Pakistan now has more youths than it has ever had. Proper utilization of that passionate capital will bring development by leaps and bounds. But the concern here is proper intellectual growth.
Through the rot learning, we are hardly way out of our grave situation. Logical fallacy requires treatment of analytical skills. Sincere approach by universities and other educational institutions can bring dramatic increase in youth capacities. It will enable them to utilize their time effectively and efficiently in existing lockdown. Only after such approaches, we can expect theorists and scientists coming out of pandemic with fascinating intellectual capacity.
KHADIJA ZAFAR
Islamabad

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