By Neelam Wali
The word COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”. COVID-19 is linked to the family of viruses known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Viruses are given their names based on their genetic structure. The virus was named as SARS-CoV-2 on February 11, 2020, due to its genetic relation to SARS. It is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person through cough and sneezing or touching a surface infected by the virus.
First reported in Wuhan city of China, the CoVID-19 virus soon spread across the world and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Center, up to 158 million people have been affected by the disease in almost all countries of the world, as of May 10, 2021. Up to 3.29 million deaths have been reported globally. Pakistan has reported around 861,000 infections and up to 18,000 deaths, so far. Startling figures, indeed!
But why is Coronavirus infection on the rise?
The infection continues to spread primarily because of the carelessness of the people. No one is following the precautions and SOP, be it in educational institutions, healthcare facilities, or social, political, and economic spheres of life. People do not care about social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing their hands. All are taking corona pretty much lightly. One can observe this laxity and irresponsible attitude also in mass religious, social, and political gatherings where majority of the attendees do not follow SOPs. In wedding halls, hotels, religious places one could see the crowd of people without wearing masks.
If these trends continue, it is likely that we will have more spikes in the months ahead. Would we like to live through COVID in yet another winter? Scary thoughts!
But our collective attitude is not helping; it seems as if we are inviting the coronavirus! Similar laxity in our neighboring country, India, has wreaked havoc, bringing the nation’s healthcare system to its knees. We should do all that we can to ensure that our fate remains different.
government must increase testing facilities in densely populated areas and peripheries to detect positive cases and isolate the affected persons, provide testing kits to healthcare facilities in rural and far-flung areas to stem the spread of the virus. Secondly, the government should enforce SOPs strictly and create awareness about the severity of the pandemic, its consequences for economy and society through mainstream and social media. The pace and scale of vaccination needs to go up manifolds very quickly. Lastly, there should be smart lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic. We as an individual should take care of ourselves by staying at home and avoid attending public gatherings, sanitize hands, wear masks while going outside our homes and drink filtered water, take multi-vitamins and calcium C to make our immune system stronger.
Stay home Stay safe Stay healthy.