By: Zoha Shabbar
The coronavirus pandemic has leashed free mounting fear amongst the population all over the globe due to its prompt spread and unembellished outcomes. The political societies have all succumbed to a single goal: eradication, at the maximum, or minimizing the spread of the deadly virus and saving the mass population from infecting or worst dying from the COVID-19. The total cases have reached to 2,159,450 with 145,568 deaths just in the time span of almost six months, the first case of Novel Coronavirus being contracted by a 55 years old individual from Hubei province in China which dates back to November 17, 2019, according to the SOUTH MORNING CHINA POST.
The severe, almost vile, conditions persuaded governments to take immediate precautions. The first and foremost step was to ban mass gatherings including religious congregation, for example, Jumma Prayer which proved to be particularly problematic in Islamic Republics like Pakistan, South Arabia, Iran, and Malaysia etc.
The arrogance of Islamic clerics has hindered the safety movements that the governments were so indulged in inducing. “We can in no way close mosques. It is not possible under any circumstances in an Islamic country,” exclaims Mufti Muneeb-bur-Rehman during a meeting with Islamic clergies. The Jumma prayers and the aftermaths Khutbaas continued to take place as routine and the mosques kept being dense with worshippers, spiking up the cases to more than 12000. The uprooting chaos amongst the inhabitants heightened whilst Ejaz Ashraf’s (member of TLP Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan) comment lit the final spark. “Pandemic is spreading due to our sins because we are not following the teachings of Islam,” made believers crowd inside the mosques and beg for forgiveness, successfully brewing a recipe for a disaster in Pakistan.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhary, had said “Coronavirus spread due to conservative religious class,” when, on the addition of mullahs and Imams, the part-time hakeems began selling oddities, exploiting those who were successfully influenced to exclaim themselves to the lockdown, and thus the trade of the peculiarities increased. People began covering long distances to buy the products which were manufactured locally, normally in the secluded households of the hakeems, causing transfer of the virus from place to place by these hypnotized people. One was even declaring the soup of the inner layer of pigeon’s stomach as an antidote to coronavirus and people began sacrificing their own pigeons or the ones they have succeeded in stealing from their neighbourhoods while another declared Corona an extreme form of common flu which could be cured with opium poppy without understanding that misguiding the general populace in this catastrophe is an odious crime that may kill all of us.
Despite the rigorousness of the contemporary statuses, the governments haven’t relaxed their efforts. They devised laws clearly stating that anyone deliberately spreading the disease would have to face imprisonment and heavy fines. This has, to some extent, prospered people to stay indoors because of the fear of residing in jails and paying heavy sums, which seems to be a tremendously severe threat to low-income residents.
The economists have predicted that 25% of the population of Pakistan would be facing poverty and hunger if a complete lockdown is being practised and more people would die with starvation than from the virus. This has ignited concerns between the ministers and politicians of Pakistan and measures are being taken to lift the ban on some business sectors construction companies, agriculture or barbers to create a scope for those who had solely depended on their daily wages, though it is predicted that it won’t help on controlling the spike of infested people but would, on a large scale, help to keep the economy of Pakistan steadied. “Khan’s own dislike for the lockdown has emboldened those who are downplaying the virus threat,” say the experts when people began opening their shops and business centres, attending crowds and aided in the spread of the virus.
According to certain estimation, it is being supposed that if the ignorance of people pursues, Pakistan would end up like Spain, with its economy drenched beyond the limits of betterment and the number of deaths elevated to maximum, owing to the fact of retarded availability of ventilators and an underdeveloped medical sector. Foreseeing the outcomes, the messages are being flagged and people are still being admonished to stay home and be safe.