A matter of grave concern
The resurgence of the new variant of Covid-19 and the fatality numbers due to this new variant namely BF Seven should be a cause of concern for us. Due to this latest Corona variant, one patient died in the country on Sunday. In the list compiled with regard to corona patients, Pakistan is still on the third place. During the last 24 hours, the rate of corona cases was reported to be 1.38 percent. Another 77 people were confirmed to have corona virus in Pakistan, while the condition of 13 patients under treatment is critical. Till now, an estimated 30 thousand 645 corona virus patients have died in Pakistan so far while the total number of patients has reached 15 lakh 77 thousand 559.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that now the world will have to learn to live with similar epidemics.
His words have been proven right as Corona has changed its behavior and attacked more powerfully than before. It has been happening and it is happening. However, when the effect of this epidemic broke down a bit, people let their guard down and now the world is once again under the influence of Corona virus.
The head of the WHO has said in this context, on the completion of three years of the corona virus epidemic, that it remains to understand the origin of the corona virus as a moral necessity and to explore all the hypotheses to help prevent future outbreaks, which is also a scientific necessity.
He used the word ‘epidemic’ for the first time for Corona. The latest variant of Corona, Omicron BF Seven, is said to be more deadly because it has no outward symptoms and it affects the internal organs of humans. The only way to prevent any kind of corona is precaution, that is, cleanliness, which has been given the status of half faith by our religion Islam. We have to adopt this way to be safe from any epidemic. Though Pakistan has done a marvelous job by containing the corona pandemic during the last three years which is evident from the current ratio which has dropped above just one per cent positivity rate, but this does not mean that we should feel complacent. Yes, the deadly virus has been contained but it is not totally eliminated as is evident from the onslaught of the new variant. Despite issuance of guidelines by the government and other concerned authorities, the masses are in mood to pay heed to precautionary steps to avoid contracting the new corona virus variants B-7 which has been rising again at great pace in recent weeks.
It is very unfortunate that masses including the educated ones have become extremely relaxed after the corona restrictions were lifted in the city last year and life came back to normalcy after which they have stopped exercising and adhering to the preventive and precautionary measures. What they fail to understand that if the covid-19 positive cases continued to rise at the current alarming level, the government and concerned departments will be compelled to re-impose the strict lockdowns and measures which will be a woeful and painful situation for the businesses, the educational institutions, health facilities, and the massages at large as it will affect their entire routine ranging from home to workplace to sports grounds and public places at large. This sudden rise is really painful when one looks at Pakistan’s last year success in its efforts to control the virus to a greater level and even the UN and international community had lauded Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments efforts to contain the virus but once the restrictions were removed the masses become totally relaxed and complacent and started neglecting the precautions as if the virus has been totally wiped from the world.
Wearing masks and keeping social distance is the easiest way to protect one self and others from virus spread, but the same practice is totally ignored by the masses, who are no longer seen to be wearing masks or adhering to other SOPs like washing hands, and maintaining social distance while at work or at public places.
The vaccinations centres were open even after the restrictions were removed and people were asked to administer the booster dose but once the government eased down the lockdowns, the masses stopped the vaccination process and even those who had taken the first dose did not return to continue with the second dose as they nurtured the misconception that the virus has been wiped out and will not return again. Though the government highly publicized and advised the booster dose but the masses did turn a deaf ear to the health experts’ advices. However, health practitioners have also observed that though the new variants of the corona are spreading like wildfire but the good aspect of this seventh wave of the corona virus is that it is not as fatal as the previous waves of the lethal virus.
Majority of the patients suffering from the corona variants have been found to be showing mild symptoms and are recovering comparatively earlier and in an easier way but even then the implications can turn serious for the elderly persons and such individuals who are already suffering from some conditions like diabetes, immune system, heart and lung diseases.
It ought to be mentioned with concerned that Ramazan is round the corner, and till then the authorities have few days to contain the virus from being spreading like a wild life.
There is also a misleading campaign against vaccines in our country by some hardline religious leaders, who have created the fear among people that the vaccine is aimed at controlling population of the country. So such misconceptions need to be wiped out with counter campaigns.
In the wake of so many hurdles in the way of vaccines, there is no room for complacency.
Instead of feeling complacent, we should do more to persuade people to get themselves vaccinated and to ensure that SOPs continue to be practiced in real sense of the word.
Published in The Daily National Courier, March, 15 2023
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