Coping with coronavirus pandemic

It is an established fact that the coronavirus pandemic is spreading rapidly throughout the world and is affecting every walk of life. The pandemic seems out of control and the numbers of victims are increasing day by day. So far, nearly 5.7 million people in the world have been affected by this disease and 0.35 million died.
 
Coping with coronavirus pandemicBut it is encouraging that 0.24 million people recovered so for from this virus. By the grace of God in Pakistan neither the affected people nor the deaths are so high compared to other countries.  For this, we are very thankful to Almighty Allah. This deadly disease is not only affecting human lives but also paralyzing the economy of the world. No one can tell exactly how longer it remain affecting the world.
 
In the meanwhile, all countries including World Health Organization are engaged in developing a strategy to overcome coronavirus pandemic and various precautionary measures have been taken in order to protect human lives.
 
In the same spirit, same precautionary measures have also been taken in Pakistan. Like other countries strict lockdown was imposed for two months in Pakistan and then a smart lockdown. During this lockdown, all educational institutions, industries, factories and shops excluding medical stores, food shops and vegetable shops remained closed.
 
Within limited period, the government started a tele-school programme for school and college going students.  It will be helpful for students learning if we replicate it in our schools and colleges. It will also be helpful in enhancing teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogy. Due to this lockdown all entrepreneurs, labourers and people associated with private sector were affected. In this connection, with to minimize the economic burden of having low income households the government assisted needy people by providing them Rs12000 per household.
 
Most of the eligible families were provided food items by the government. Moreover, a decrease in petroleum prices by the government is an extraordinary relief for all people.
 
Most NGOs and philanthropists in Pakistan helped needy people in this difficult time. They also helped the government by providing medical equipment. It has been observed in many areas people were given cooked foods by them. 
 
In the second phase, the government is going to pay financial assistance to those who became jobless due to the corona crises. For this purpose, the government succeeded in collecting a huge amount as donations from philanthropists within Pakistan as well as abroad. This indicates how people trust the present government? The government succeeded in fulfilling its responsibility in this crucial time. These are exemplary steps and will be remembered forever.
 
It is necessary to mention that EOBI pensioners are also included in having low income households and in spite of low income they deserve immediate relief. But it is surprising to listen the proposal regarding increase in EOBI pension was presented for upcoming budget 2020 in cabinet meeting held in first week of May 2020 but its implementation was deferred for an indefinite time.
 
This might shock all EOBI pensioners, however they will not be disappointed. They are still expecting enough relief in terms of increase in EOBI pension from government and proposal deferred in the cabinet will be presented once again for reconsideration and approved unanimously.
 
Farman Ajab
Chitral.