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COVID-19 lays bare the bleeding face of Pakistan administration, economy

COVID-19 lays bare the bleeding face of Pakistan administration, economy

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 03 Apr 2020, 07:29 pm

Islamabad/IBNS: The growing COVID-19 cases in Pakistan are not only unveiling the collapsing healthcare system of the South Asian nation but hinting that the economy will also slow in the upcoming days to leave common men bleeding.

An instance of how poorly the government is handling the outbreak of the disease in the country could be sensed in the words of Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Senator Sirajul Haq who has accused the government of treating the coronavirus patients kept in quarantine as “criminals”.

He alleged that the government is not providing patients with prescribed medicines and food in isolation wards.

“These helpless people deserved sympathies. First, government packed the suspected patients in crowded places like classrooms, then disowned them completely with apathy,” he said while addressing a meeting of the party’s central office-bearers on Thursday at Mansoora as quoted by The News International.

  He even alleged that the PM Imran Khan-led government was committing gross negligence in preventing coronavirus spread from day one.

“The corona pandemic could have been effectively controlled at Taftan border by putting the pilgrims in quarantine and treating them. If it was done, there would have been very few patients in the country today,” he was quoted as saying by The News International.

Doctors Plight:

Meanwhile, Pakistani media reports even claimed that house officers and postgraduate trainees, the front-line force battling the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, are forced to work at several hospitals without personal protective equipment (PPE), stipends and, in many cases, food.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, doctors told Dawn that they were facing a lot of problems at work, severely affecting their mental health as well as the quality of their work.

The worst affected health facilities include the government hospitals in Sukkur and Larkana, the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) and the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) in Karachi and the two teaching hospitals, one in Hyderabad and the other in Jamshoro, attached with the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), reported the Pakistan-based newspaper.

“We haven’t received our stipends for the last three months. The issue has been brought to the knowledge of the administration multiple times, but to no avail,”  a house officer posted at ASH told Dawn News.

Tough time for Trapped Miners:

Amid COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan, thousands of miners from different districts of Malakand division have been stranded in Sindh and Balochistan for two weeks, media reports said.

Complaining about shortage of food and drinking water, they say they will die of starvation even if they survive the virus, reported the newspaper.

Most of the stranded people are from Shangla district.

Miners told Dawn over the phone that thousands of them had been stranded either in Lakhra area of Sindh and on the outskirts of Quetta city in Balochistan and couldn’t return to hometowns due to lockdown, so things were extremely difficult for them.

A large population of fishing community living on 27 small islands between Hajamiro creek and deltaic area along Arabian Sea in Thatta district are finding it increasingly difficult to make both ends meet because of closure of fish markets during ongoing province-wide lockdown, reported Dawn News.

  Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum chairman Mohammad Ali Shah told Dawn that fishing communities in coastal areas of Thatta, Badin, Sujawal, Karachi, Shah Bandar, Jaati, Kharo Chhaan and Golarchi were facing starvation since fish markets were closed and the catch was rotting in the absence of buyers.

Pakistan may witness massive job loss:

The COVID-19 outbreak might even leave the bleeding economy of Pakistan further deep into the crisis.

The Ministry of Planning has estimated that 12.3 million to 18.5 million people in the country will lose their jobs and the economy will sustain Rs 2 trillion to Rs 2.5 trillion losses in just three months due to “moderate to severe shocks from the coronavirus outbreak”, reported The Express Tribune.

Initial estimates show that in case of limited restrictions, about 1.4 million jobs will be lost, which are equal to 2.2% of the employed workforce. In monetary terms, the three-month wage loses will translate into Rs 66 billion, reported the newspaper.

In case of a complete shutdown, the government has assessed that 18.53 million people or 30% of the labour force will be unemployed. These people will sustain Rs 783 billion losses, the news report said.

COVID-19 lays bare the bleeding face of Pakistan administration, economy

India Blooms News Service
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