Survival of the fittest!

We must take the responsibility ourselves

The third wave of the coronavirus continues to invade Pakistan, and is more damaging than the earlier ones. The government is taking all possible steps to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In this regard, the people are constantly being advised not to leave their homes unnecessarily and to follow the SOPs fully on the way out.

Apart from deploying troops across the country to help in the enforcement of the SOPs,, help is also being sought from the ulema for the implementation of the SOPs. In this regard, the ulema assured that they will persuade the people in the mosques to implement the SOPs so that the coronavirus pandemic does not spread further. The government’s efforts to control the pandemic have their place, but the real success will come when the people across the country, realizing their responsibility, fully implement the Coronavirus SOPs. The ulema are particularly important because the first task is to convince many people that there is a pandemic, and that there is a need to follow the SOPs.

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There is no doubt that the people are more to blame for the spread of coronavirus than anything else. On the one hand, there is the onslaught of the third wave of the coronavirus and on the other hand, the people are not ready to follow the SOPs, even though the consequences of this careless approach are dire. According to official figures, more than 800,000 people in the country have been affected by the pandemic, while more than 17,000 have died. Overall, the positive case rate in the country has reached 9.61 percent. To prevent this situation from getting worse, it has been decided to deploy troops in the cities, because instead of understanding the need of the hour when told with love and affection, we obey orders with the use of force and sticks.

The government’s strict implementation of SOPs is correct, but so far it has failed to develop vaccines on its own, or even to import a sufficient quantity from abroad. The public has so far received free vaccine aid, which is insufficient to meet the needs of a country of 220 million people. This is why the federal government has allowed the provincial governments to buy vaccines, as well as permitted the private sector to import vaccines to ensure timely vaccinations to as many people as possible, but this became a matter of price dispute. Now, as per the order of Sindh High Court, in the light of the recommendations of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, the Cabinet has fixed the price of two doses of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine at Rs 8449, so that the country’s affluent class can be vaccinated privately against the deadly disease.

A large number of people are losing their lives every day in India due to the coronavirus. There is a shortage of stretchers after the better-known one of oxygen, in Indian hospitals; the Indian media is showing how the medical staff is dragging the bodies of the deceased to the ground for cremation due to lack of stretchers. If Pakistanis do not change their reckless attitude, it will not take long for the catastrophe to spread in our country as well.

The elite in this country have had the same motto as ever of saving themselves and pushing the poor into the abyss of death. The same thing is happening with the supply of the coronavirus vaccine, wher the elite has put the general public in the line of relief vaccines. The price of two injections of the vaccine is fixed in the same way as the price of a brand of jeans, or of fast food. In a country where the majority of the population lives below the poverty line, it is not easy for the common man to pay such a large sum. The federal and provincial governments should expedite the process of procuring vaccines for the general public on a war footing by allocating funds on a regular basis, so as to prevent loss of human lives. Also it should be remembered that vaccination is the only path to successfully combating the disease. If there is insufficient vaccination, there will be repeated waves of the disease, with the result that not only will the uncertainty and the atmosphere of fear continue, but people will go on dying.

In view of the changing situation in the country due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government and the people have to make a complete change in their behaviour. While the government has to realize its responsibilities, the people also have to ensure implementation of SOPs. If we as a nation decide to cooperate with the government on SOPs, the situation may change overnight. Life is a God-given blessing. Everyone should appreciate this blessing. People should not risk their lives and the lives of others by being obsessed with politics and shopping. The third wave of coronavirus has reached alarming levels. If the pandemic is not controlled immediately through better strategies, there will be no room for patients in hospitals.

The deteriorating situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic in our neighboring country India is instructive. Scattered corpses can be on the sidewalks in India and a large number of sick people are seen begging for oxygen. A large number of people are losing their lives every day in India due to the coronavirus. There is a shortage of stretchers after the better-known one of oxygen, in Indian hospitals; the Indian media is showing how the medical staff is dragging the bodies of the deceased to the ground for cremation due to lack of stretchers. If Pakistanis do not change their reckless attitude, it will not take long for the catastrophe to spread in our country as well. One should assume the implementation of SOPs as a responsibility for oneself because the message of survival of life is hidden in caution, while the slightest carelessness will lead to the Valley of Death. The people have done as much carelessness as they should have, now it is time to decide whether we are going to choose between life or death. Surely the desire of every soul is life, so our only survival depends on taking precautions.

While the actions of the government might matter at one level, at another they don’t, because the real key is actually how we behave ourselves.. It won’t matter if it’s someone else’s fault; we will still be dead.

Attiya Munawer
Attiya Munawer
The writer tweets @AttiyaMunawer

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