Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

CoVID-19 Onslaught and Social Distancing in Gilgit-Baltistan


By Dr Abdul Jalil

Although people were familiar with the word social distancing but its practical application and implication was seen only after Corona Virus onslaught on World Community.  Suddenly a name not Popular among the masses surfaced on the print and electronic media entailing deaths of a sizeable number of people in Wuhan Province of China attributed to a deadly Virus-Corona.

We in Pakistan are normally slow to react to such events, maybe due to our inherent capacity to face such infections on account of our higher level of immunity in the blood against these afflictions. Why should we not express our gratitude to civic bodies for supplying impure water and retailers for providing us adulterated food items. Which have conferred high level of immunity in our blood. Ordinary masses have always been annoyed with regard to ineptness of civic body officials but this time it has turned out to be a boon under the guise of a social evil.

Corona virus made its presence felt in Pakistan in general and GB in Particular as Pakistani Pilgrims in Iran started returning home. Bus-loads of pilgrims thronged Pakistan Iran border at Taftan Balochistan. Iranian authorities hurriedly wanted to get-rid of the Corona affected Pakistani pilgrims as soon as possible  but across the border Balochistan government was little prepared to tackle a situation of which they had no past experience nor they had the will and knowledge about the lethality of this most dreaded viral infection.  They hastily wanted to send these pilgrims to their native districts to be disposed of by the Local district administration.

Balochistan government authorities, apparently under the pretext of non-availability of quarantine facility at Taftan plus the scorching heat of the desert decided to allow the crying pilgrims to enter and proceed to their native districts. It is also reported that some pilgrims skipped on their way home to avoid Corona testing but the rest reached their destination under security cover.

In the meanwhile Corona’s world wide spread and ensuing deaths were blown out of proportion which scared world community including Pakistanis. Media personnel particularly the TV Channels got their most cherished news item to make people panicky under the garb of dissemination of information about the virulence of Corona Virus. It appeared that an apocalyptic scene is in the offing and mankind is heading towards a doom of immense magnitude.

Parents of Pakistani students studying in China were seen the most distressed lot, they appealed to the government to repatriate their sons from China. Their wailing, cries and moaning’s were un-heared by the authorities. Their sons remained in places where they were. The health minister seemed to be quite complacent as he had wisely advised the PM not to repatriate the students in fact he failed to arrange flights to the stranded students in China. It is the mercy of ALLAH not the cleverness of Minister which saved Pakistani student from being afflicted with Corona.

COVID-19 may have some potential benefits but the country is seemingly drifting towards a recession the consequences of which are sky rocketing. Prices of commodities, joblessness and failure to comply with debt servicing leading to extreme chaos and crumbling of the economic edifice of the country.

We Pakistanis as a Muslim nation should have an entirely different approach to tackle such crisis seeking guidance from Quran an Sunnah interpreted by leading Islamic Scholars. We must not follow non-Muslims nor be overwhelmed by their propaganda.

Total Corona related deaths in Pakistan are 143 out of which three deaths have occurred in GB, which in-fact are not very alarming.

A few Corona related deaths which could not possibly be averted are of lesser magnitude than a total economic shut-down.

Social distancing among various sections of society is getting larger and larger, people are afraid of talking, hand shaking, sitting and eating together. Everybody is taken as a suspected Corona sufferer, those put to solitary confinement are in severe mental agony. Families have distanced themselves from their near and dear ones thus breaking the Social fabric of fraternity and friend ship.

To save the nation from hunger deaths, economic ruination and extreme mental agony due to house confinement it would be most appropriate to trust Allah and to lift the lock-down by invoking Allah’s mercy.

The contributor is a former Secretary of Health and Population, GB. Email: doctorabduljalil@gmail.com

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