Pakistan must improve health facilities, to avoid epidemics

Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

Though, the fight against Coronavirus is in full spectrum in China, the government has been on defensive since last December when the first case was reported. It was last month that the world got alarmed with a possibility of the virus spread across the globe but this short panic, created an opportunity for the already contained Coronavirus to spread as countries started evacuating citizens, firstly from Wuhan and later from other adjoining cities. Thus, this initiative of citizens’ evacuation by countries such as US, Japan and others ignored the Chinese government’s struggle to curb the further spread of the virus and eliminate it in Wuhan.
Due to the media bombardment of information related to the epidemic, countries started to panic without realizing the consequences. Some of the foreigners living in China also became victims to the rumors, and families push them to return home. They too, ignored the preventive measures of the Chinese government, and fuel further the hazard of spread of Coronavirus across the globe.
The Chinese government has taken serious steps to prevent the spread and eliminate the Coronavirus. As the Huoshenshan a 1000 bed Hospital was built and operationalized in just 10 days, while eight more hospitals are under construction. China has also opted out of trading to restrain further damage, extended the holiday vacations, started awareness campaign, and supplied preventive gears, monitoring, and aid to masses across China.
My friend Haseeb Hayat, currently lives in Beijing. According to his views, the Chinese government and the University administration taking good care of the international students. They monitor their health, registered their past and current traveling logs, and provide medical assistant and preventive gears. Out of curiosity, I asked whether he would want to comeback or stay during this critical time, and “if the pressure from his family is mounting on him to return?” He responded that he didn’t plan until this threat is counter, for some reasons it would be a good idea to stay there. Although, there is no denying that the pressure from family is increasing but they live far away and lack to understand the situation. “Our country lack basic facilities of healthcare and Coronavirus detecting tools, so if we return and unfortunately get expose to the virus, we will take it with us”, he said. His concerns are valid, the fact is that we don’t have preventive tools, neither are we prepare to handle Coronavirus patients at local hospitals.
Just like Haseeb Hayat, Azmat Khan is another Pakistani studying at Communication University of China, in Beijing. Upon talking to him, when asked the same question, he responded with a laugh. “The country where so far no health facility is available for infected Coronavirus patients, and where they take 4 to 5 days just to find out whether the person is infected or not, while look towards other States for getting basic health tools, would it be a good idea to go there”, he reckoned.
Another student, Atif Kazmi pointed towards the dengue crisis that Pakistan face each summer, and how many causalities they face every year, though the government isn’t able to effectively counter dengue epidemic, which compare to novel Coronavirus is less lethal. “Pakistan face dengue each year and is still unable to effectively fight it back, while our country is the last few to have polio, and now if regrettably (hopefully never) the infection of Coronavirus cross the border, it will be a disaster, that should be avoided at all cost,” he stressed.
This should be a reminder for our government that the Pakistanis living in China are more concern over the lack of medical facilities in Pakistan, as they plan to avoid coming home, till the epidemic war is over. This makes sense, China is providing best medical healthcare, and as in the last couple of days, it has been witnessed that the number of Coronavirus infection is decreasing, while the discharged patients from hospitals are increasing. There is a hope; they will soon introduce a vaccine to vanish it permanently, for good.
At this critical moment, the health authorities at home should concentrate on improving health facilities that are needed to tackle epidemics, we can take China as an example, despite this unfortunate sudden epidemic, the nation is united to fight back, using all they have to control and eliminate. Although, it is sadly true that many in our country die of curable diseases, preventing disease like Coronavirus will never be an easy job. Only improved basic health facilities can secure country from epidemic disasters. –The author is a staff member of The Daily Mail.