AJK govt’s efforts against Coronavirus

The pandemic appears to be largely driven by direct, human-to-human transmission. With over time number of deaths and infection continue to increase. This pandemic diseases is jeopardy for human lives and it affect everyone, but the most vulnerable people are elderly people with weak immunity. That is why public health officials have told people to engage in social distancing, a simple but effective way to drive down virus’s reproductive number. Over time the confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pakistan is increasing but the urgent prevention of this diseases is also necessary.

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir government has already declared lockdown state wide. Prime Minister AJK, Raja Farooq Haider Khan recently, has warned the citizens that if they would not follow the directions then the government may go for the option of curfew. It is pertinent to mention here that, Azad Jammu and Kashmir is the only region of the country which has least cases, whereas the nation wise tally has crossed 1664. The AJK government has constituted health committees in all 204 union councils of the state to immediately compile the data foreign returned citizens and pilgrims to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The government of AJK has decided to collect all relevant data of the 26,500 persons including pilgrims who recently returned to the state from different foreign countries. These health committees would comprise of more than 3500 Lady Health Workers, Vaccinators of EPI and National Health Program, Secretary of each union councils, revenue officer and representative of police. These committees would not only compile the data but also transfer the suspects to the nearest quarantine centers and isolation wards. Moreover, these committees are bound to submit their daily progress report to the District Coordination Committee and Central Committee.

Central Committee would keep close liaison with the immigration officials of Pakistan to collect the AJK based foreign returned persons and share with the concerned district coordination committees for further investigations. Meanwhile, Corona Alert Control Room has been established at IT Board office to maintain the digital record of all the government’s coronavirus response activities. The Corona Alert Control Room would also maintain the digital data of the foreign returns citizens and pilgrims district-wise.

The state government has taken unprecedented steps to respond to the pandemic with proactive approach to protect the health and safety of its citizens. “So far, there is no death of corona positive patient in AJK while six persons had been confirmed positive in which four are under treatment in Mirpur and two in Bhimber districts’ isolation wards. The government has announced to convert newly constructed PM house and Officer’s Club buildings into quarantine centers, establishing corona test labs in all three divisions, 37 quarantine centers throughout the state. Morever, through PM’s Corona Combat Fund, the government would also provide special assistance to the poor, laborers, daily wagers and other marginalized segments of the society. One month basic pay as special bonus announced for the doctors and other health staff in the state while magistrates have been deputed to take strict action against the hoarders and profiteers during the lockdown period. 90 million rupees donations from the salaries of cabinet members, MLAs and government officers have been deposited in the Corona Combat Fund. All the efforts made by the AJK government are commendable.

The coronavirus is affecting 199 countries and territories around the world. However, the virus does have an innate infectivity, based on how it binds to receptors in cells in the respiratory tract and then takes over the machinery of those cells to make copies of itself. But its ability to spread depends also on the vulnerability of the human population, including the density of the community. Even though we do not have a vaccine, and no one had immunity to this novel pathogen, people have some innate, mechanical defenses against viruses just like they do against pollen and dust.

Unfortunately, the whole world is fighting with worst global health emergency, lockdown and quarantine but what about the innocent people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir? They are facing lockdown since the Indian illegal action of August 5 2019, all education institutions in the occupied territory had almost remained closed, the students are unable to continue virtual due to continued restrictions on internet services, cognizant of the worst human rights violations and atrocities being perpetrated by India in the disputed region even though so many confirmed cases of coronavirus and two deaths due to the diseases occur in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Recently, In a statement Pakistan Foreign officer Spokesperson Aisha Farooqi regretted that thousands of Kashmiri youth, members of civil society, Kashmiri leaders and journalists were incarcerated in Indian prisons, many of them at undisclosed location and away from their families. She said, the Indian forces, continued to operate in the occupied territory with complete impunity under draconian laws. She said, Pakistan would continue supporting its Kashmiri brethren in their rightful struggle against Indian oppression till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the United Nation Security Council resolution.

In this lethal situation our sympathies are with those who are struggling for their lives and keep hope alive. The novel coronavirus that is killing thousands across the world is still early in its life. It replicates destructively, unaware that there’s a better way to survive. In the meantime, the best weapons we have against the coronavirus are public health measures, such as testing and social distancing, and our own immune systems.