Pakistan is Negligent About the CoVid-19 and Becoming a Super-SpreaderVignesh Subbaian (Author) Published Date : Mar 27, 2020 12:52 IST
From China, the coronavirus seeped into South Asian countries, which have more than one-fourth of the world population. India and Pakistan are the two major countries for starting to get the coronavirus infection from the end of February. Both are now nearly on the same level of official infected cases of around thousand and death toll around ten. But the big difference is in India is that there is now a total lockdown for the next 21 days, including religious gatherings.
Pakistan is already reeling under many issues, and this coronavirus is a considerable burden. It is not only in the form of deaths, economic disaster, and many others, but it is the coronavirus against religious faith. Though prime minister Imran Khan called in the military to impose regulations in mass gatherings, he is not able to stop the mass gatherings in mosques even after Iran and Saudi Arabia stopped it. It is on fear of facing the backlash from the religious community of Pakistan.
More than 2,50,000 people gathered in Lahore on March 12 for a religious gathering from many parts of the world. It was a religious congregation where Muslims from Gaza strip to central Asian country Kyrgyzstan annually gather in Lahore, the second populated city in Pakistan with more than 11 million people. The congregation event called Tablighi Jamaat is conducted every year from around the world. The Pakistan government afraid of hurting the religious sentiment of the people did not stop them even after coronavirus infected cases reported in Pakistan during the end of February itself.
Until the last minute the government was not able to find out the reason to stop the event and only after nearly a quarter of a million gathered for the event and another three fourth of a million to arrive, the government canceled it for the reason of rainy weather. But these 2,50,000 people gathered together in Lahore two weeks back at the prime of coronavirus infection must not only spread it to the 11 million there but also to many parts of the world. Now on Sunday, March 21, two people have reported infection to coronavirus in Gaza. Those two infected Palestinian men were those who returned from Lahore last week. It is just starting melting of the tip of the iceberg and will follow with thousands is what experts say about it.
It is what The Guardian wrote in its March 19 issue that there is "No facilities, No humanity" in Pakistan. It reported how worst is the quarantine conditions of 6000 people at the Taftan town in the Balochistan province on the border of Pakistan and Iran. With Iran also having heavy casualties, this quarantine facility for those coming infected from Iran smells like urine and worse than prison as per the report.
Another report from Pakistan on Monday, March 23, confirmed of 6 high ranking officials have been suspended for taking a selfie with their colleague who came infected from Iran. When Pakistan is about to explode with the infection cases anytime soon, educated and high ranking officials taking a selfie with an infected person is nothing but blunder. It shows how well they understand social distancing even while more than 1100 officially affected cases and with eight deaths is spreading the coronavirus to all of the Islamic countries.
Iran has banned gathering of people for offering prayers in mosques, Saudi Arabia followed suit, but in Pakistan, there are still prayers offered en masse in mosques. People though understanding the social distancing and the dangers of coronavirus infection, could not leave their mass prayers in the mosques. They feel that it is against their religion to do it and continue mass gathering irrespective of the global situations. The coronavirus takes its time to infect the masses for a period. And then comes the explosion of the death toll that happened in the US and more in Italy now. A similar situation is brewing in Pakistan without any control of mass gatherings, and when will it explode is the big question now.
But, the 2,50,000 people gathered from around the world in Pakistan, had returned to their countries now. Now the two infected in Gaza are confirmed to have returned from Lahore. In the coming days, many more such cases will be reported from many parts of the world, wherein the people came for the congregation gathering in Lahore. How far they have spread the coronavirus will be known soon to the world. Pakistan is now a super spreader of coronavirus not only in Islamic countries in the world but also to many other parts as no one knows from where all the 2,50,000 people came and went back in the last two weeks.