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Should Pakistan be worried about coronavirus?

Should Pakistan be worried about coronavirus?

Mehreen Zahra-Malik

Coronavirus has the world on edge. With the virus having spread to a dozen different countries and the World Health Organisation declaring a global coronavirus emergency, should Pakistani’s be worried about the mysterious virus hitting our country?

Should Pakistani’s be scared of coronavirus?

In a way, yes they should. The outbreak that is currently plaguing the world is of a novel strain of coronavirus that has originated from Wuhan, China. The reason that this virus has put the world edge is because of the novelty and mystery behind this disease. Researchers still don’t have enough information about how the disease mutates and spreads and just how fatal it has the capability to become. Thus far, the death toll for the coronavirus in China has it 213. There is currently no known cure for the coronavirus.

Has it hit Pakistan yet?

Luckily, the coronavirus has yet to hit Pakistan. Although it has already spread to a dozen different countries including Canada, the United States and neighbouring India, Pakistan is still safe from the disease. This doesn’t mean that the country will remain safe, however. With the first official case of coronavirus being announced in India, Pakistani government officials have been on edge about the disease hitting the nation.

Has Pakistan taken any precautionary measures?

Since the announcement of coronavirus in India, there have been several steps taken by the state to attempt to prevent the virus from entering Pakistan. Flights to and from China have been put on hold until February 2nd. This has been a controversial decision for Pakistani’s currently stranded in Wuhan as they have expressed their desire for the government to evacuate them, but to no avail. The government announced that it was “not advisable” to bring Pakistani’s from Wuhan back into the country as it would risk the spread of the disease.

Moreover, Pakistan will be receiving coronavirus detection kits from Japan. The first set of these kits is to arrive at the National Health Institute in Islamabad on January 31st. According to authorities, these kits possess the ability to test at least 1000 samples for the lethal virus.

Although these preventative measures are a step in the right direction, they will prove futile should the first case of coronavirus break out in Pakistan.

What are precautions we can take?

The problem with coronavirus, and one of the reasons why it was able to spread so easily, is that its symptoms mimic those of any less serious respiratory illness. Mild symptoms include fever, headache and sore throat. For these reasons, it becomes difficult for health care professionals to identify the virus in its early stages. More severe symptoms include difficulty in breathing and the eventual developing of a viral respiratory illness which can become fatal.

What Pakistani’s can do for now is be cautious about their health and attempt to recognise the symptoms in their initial phase. Additionally, although there is still little research as to how the disease can spread, it has been proven that saliva droplets are enough to transmit the virus from person to person. For this reason, it has been advised for people to frequent their use of hand sanitisers in public, particularly after touching door knobs or car door handles. As well as this, it has further been advised that Pakistan’s should take extra care to maintain their hygiene in public areas and keep away from people with flu’s.

Keep up to date with more news at ProperGaanda: What does the banning of ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ say about freedom of expression in Pakistan?


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