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March 27, 2020

Emergency decisions

Newspost

 
March 27, 2020

The world is facing a pandemic which mutates and accelerates very fast, posing a serious threat to the lives of citizens and is an existential threat to national security especially in countries like Pakistan where the health system is already compromised. This government, like its predecessors, has failed to meet the requirement of life-saving equipment like ventilators, protective gear for medical workers and sufficient hospital beds to meet such pandemic that can occur without any warning.

I humbly request PM to ensure that decisions for combating and containing this medical calamity should be the exclusive domain of doctors, especially those who are specialized in contagious deceases, and not by political or civil/uniformed public office holders. Decisive, firm and timely steps should be taken by the elected government, which has the constitutional powers to do so. There is no need to waste time in consulting the clergy when the calamity has already struck. All intercity transportation must stop, except goods trains. Irrespective of whether citizens are coming from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan etc, the procedure for screening should be left to medical specialists, irrespective of time constraints. The political, civil and uniformed public office holders must look after infrastructure and equipment required to perform task and ensure that security must be provided to medical workers. It is the responsibility of border security agencies and law enforcement that those civilians who are required for screening must be dealt with sternly but kindly, as per defined SOP protocols. The federal government must ensure that medical specialists with experience in contagious viruses must be involved in the decision-making process. Any lapse will, God-Forbid, result in a loss of lives that go into millions, with disastrous consequences for an ailing economy.

Malik Tariq Ali

Lahore