The nation woke up today to find 752 new cases of COVID-19 on the official tally. The news has spread anxiety and fear among people of Pakistan who believed that the pandemic was significantly decreasing in intensity. Health experts fear that Pakistan’s second wave of coronavirus might be on the way. In the past 5 weeks, the country has been lucky to report significantly fewer cases of the virus. However, today marks the highest number of cases recorded in the span of the past 5 weeks.
Is Pakistan being hit with a second wave of coronavirus?
It has been nearly six months since coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). In the United States alone, the number of reported cases has crossed six million. Other countries around the world including India are facing one of the worst hits of the virus. Despite the world’s strictest lockdown with strict protocols, India has over four million COVID-19 cases today, making it the world’s second worst-affected country. If the number of cases recorded in Pakistan today continue, a second wave of coronavirus is likely to be on its way.
The number of reported cases in Pakistan peaked in June. Hundreds of people died each day as health care experts struggled to cure patients. A second wave of coronavirus in Pakistan is likely to have disastrous affects on the country. The country lacks proper infrastructure to cater to a huge number of patients, hospital beds and resources are scarce due, to which a large number of people lost their loved ones. As per a Johns Hopkins’ tally, Pakistan is the 18th most-impacted country in the world, in terms of confirmed cases of the deadly virus. Experts have emphasized that the actual number of cases is much higher than the reported number. After the virus peaked in June and hospital beds ran out, many patients stayed confined to their homes where they struggled to combat the deadly virus.
Masks are important!
After the number of reported cases went slightly down in the past 5 weeks, citizens eased on observing the standard protocols. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO official said that the pandemic might be over in under two years but “no country can just pretend the pandemic is over”. This message is especially important for Pakistan since the countrywide lock-down has been lifted. Schools, shopping malls, parks, gyms and shops have been opened as per government orders. Although government officials asked citizens to practice caution, all places are jam-packed with people. Citizens fail to realize that Pakistan may not recover from a second wave of coronavirus.
If Pakistan is inflicted with a second wave of coronavirus, the country might not be able to cope at all. It is no secret that the health care system in Pakistan is inadequate and does not possess resources to cater to large numbers of patients. Pakistan’s performance on other diseases is also incredibly poor, particularly tuberculosis, hepatitis and most importantly polio. Even if a vaccine is made to combat the virus, there are few immediate benefits for less developed countries like Pakistan. Since the vaccine is likely to reach here late. Moreover, a large chunk of the population will not be able to afford the vaccine.