By Taj Nabi Khan
ISLAMABAD, Sep 20 (APP):The unprecedented measures of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government against the coronavirus pandemic had made it possible to largely overcome the challenge of deadly virus in the country.
Like other parts of the globe, the pandemic has also badly hit the health and economic sectors of the country. But the well formulated balancing strategies and consistent efforts of the government to overcome the pandemic during the last six to seven months have been acknowledged both locally and internationally.
The policy of smart lock-down, enforcement of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and collective response from the public had brought down the number of corona related cases in the country. However, throughout the period the government did not forget the downtrodden segments of the society as they were provided financial support and efficient medical treatment.
It also did not stop the daily wagers from earning their livelihood even during the challenging times while the small businesses were provided help in terms of soft loans. Although the coronavirus has not yet been eradicated completely, but the consistent efforts of the government had mitigated the cases to the lowest number.
Therefore, the government’s strategy of tackling the pandemic is becoming a successful case study for other corona affected countries. Pakistan is now included in the list of those countries which had tackled the virus successfully. As from the first case, the government has taken prompt measures to ensure public health safety when the panic of the virus at global level was high.
Firstly the government has launched an awareness campaign to sensitize and educate the public about the seriousness of the infection. Secondly, the government has time to time issued SOPs under the safety guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19 by restricting people to their homes with ringtones, televised, radio and mobile phone text messages to keep them alert about the virus.
The public were also asked to ensure wearing of medical masks and at least six feet distance while interacting with each other and avoid handshake and hugging.
Similarly, the coronavirus patients and their contacts were restricted to contain the disease. Pakistan has played a responsible role in mitigating the coronavirus cases as it took timely measures to impose restrictions on public gatherings, social and political activities, educational institutions and public transport operations to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread. The government has come up with a number of well conceived strategies — from partial to smart lockdowns, quarantine facilities and home isolation to cope with the emerging situation of coronavirus in the country.
The philanthropist Bill Gates while comparing the coronavirus situation of India and Pakistan has said that Pakistan had dealt with the pandemic in a better manner. Likewise, the UN General Assembly President-elect Volkan Bozkir has also said that the world can learn from Pakistan. Similarly, the The Wall Street Journal has also acknowledged that the country was a bright spot in the world when it comes to coronavirus.
Talking to APP, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Senator Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani said that the government had launched Ehsaas relief programme to support the masses during the crisis under which each of the lower-income families hit by the pandemic were handed over Rs 12,000 cash. She said that millions of people had benefited from the relief programme. Similarly, the government has given relief to traders by paying their bills for three months, she added.
Since the first case of coronavirus reported in the country on Feb 26, 2020, the government has adopted a holistic approach to curb the spread of virus and let certain economic activities continue working to sustain life.
Therefore, on April 24, the government has decided to convert the partial lockdown into a ‘smart lockdown’ on the patterns practiced by the western countries.The ‘smart lockdowns’ is the targeted tracking, testing and quarantine mechanism in coordination with national security apparatus to curb the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country by sealing the areas of infected cluster population (hotspots) while easing restrictions on economic activities under the safety guidelines.
Senator Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani said that the government strategy of smart lockdown has proved instrumental in bringing down the number of corona related cases. She said, “Pakistan couldn’t afford a complete shutter down lockdown due to daily wagers and poor segments of the society.
Therefore, the PTI government under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan had made all out efforts to formulate balancing strategies as per the emerging situation to combat the virus and financially support the downtrodden class during the time of the crisis, she added.