How Pakistan is Fighting Coronavirus

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As I entered the mosque, the maulvi was winding up his Friday sermon that is shortly followed by the jummah prayer. He concluded by praising Allah and the Prophet for teaching us, the Muslims, about how to be safe from epidemics and diseases. He emphasised that wudu, the obligatory Islamic ablution before each of the five daily prayers, was the best way to stay safe from the Coronavirus aside from one or two specific prayers in Arabic that he’d already mentioned. I did not look at the faces of other devotees but I am sure a good number of them were convinced.

And why not? Just two days ago, Professor Javaid Akram, vice-chancellor of Lahore-based University of Health Sciences announced in a seminar that daily five times wudu could provide the protection. He even claimed the particular form of ablution was now being taught in Wuhan, where the virus originated. On Friday, a leading Urdu daily, Dunya, published a long Op-Ed titled, The cure of the incurable Coronavirus in China. After several paragraphs of quotes from Islamic texts, Amir Hamza, the author, suggested that a Chinese translation of a specific verse from the Qur’an should be provided to the neighbours for them to listen to it. “God willing, they will be cured”, he anticipated.

Sabir Shakir, a celebrity TV host and writer, in his column, Coronavirus: From China to Pakistan, produced a farrago with a religious tinge that advanced blame on the US for using the crisis to its advantage. He also lamented: “Like the deadly Coronavirus our political system is also laden with a fatal virus. Despite 72 years, Pakistan is unable to free its politics, political system, political parties and the country’s system from it”.

Thankfully, all is not left to prayers. According to a news report in Dunya (30.01.2020), Captain (Retired) Anwar-ul-Haq, Deputy Commissioner of Rawalpindi district had ordered tests of all the Chinese working at the Karot Hydropower Project. The project is building a dam at Karot village to produce electricity under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. According to Mr Haq, none of the Chinese was found to be infected. In Karachi, the prestigious Aga Khan Hospital also tested dozens of Chinese expatriates, who were given assurances and counselling sessions after being declared virus free.

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That is very positive news! But apparently, these tests, if at all they were conducted, were duds. The newspapers reported that the first testing-kits donated by Japan will arrive on Friday, 31.01.2020. Some reports suggested the kits from China were to arrive on Thursday, a day before the tests of Chinese workers at Karot or Karachi were supposedly carried out. A health spokesman of the Sindh Government also confirmed that by Wednesday, 29 January, Pakistan had no testing-kits for the deadly virus. Brigadier (Retired) Waheed-uz-Zaman Tariq, a professor of virology who is currently associated with Chugtai Labs, a well-known health diagnostic company, claimed that any kits available in the country were for research and not the diagnosis. In the circumstances, this is anyone’s guess how the people were issued with all-clear guarantees.

But not many Pakistanis seem to be bothered. According to Siraj-ul-Haq, ameer or head of the largely discredited Islamist political party, Jamat-e-Islami, corruption and high commodity prices were more lethal that the ongoing contagion. Another politician from the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Afzal Khokar, who is also a parliamentarian, described Prime Minister, Imran Khan, as more dangerous than the virus.

The Islamist Urdu newspaper, Ummat, that has run a concerted campaign to discredit the government on the crisis, in a small news item, obliquely referring to the ongoing anti-Muslim crackdown in East Turkistan that is now known by its Chinese name, Xinjiang, ranted that those who banned Muslim women from wearing niqab or face-veils were now having to wear face masks all the time. Ayaz Khan, the group editor of Express News, a multi-edition Urdu newspaper, commented that the crisis was “as serious as our relationship with China”. He suggested that WHO should try to change the food habits of the Chinese, of course, with their collaboration, for their eating habits were spreading viruses.

Meanwhile, the Punjab province’s Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries Department announced it would install safety mechanisms for the wild animals under its care. It officially directed its staff to subject all the Chinese visiting zoos or wildlife parks to “special checking”. With no trained personnel or testing-kits at hand, what this means remains an unguarded mystery!

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How Pakistan is Fighting Coronavirus. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 24, 2024, from
“How Pakistan is Fighting Coronavirus.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
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