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Slum areas residents helpless against threat of coronavirus

Islamabad

July 2, 2020

Islamabad : The residents of slum areas seem to be helpless against the threat of the coronavirus disease as they neither have resources to protect themselves nor proper knowledge about how to modify their living style to fight this pandemic.

Azeem Alphonse, who lives in slum area located in F-7 sector, said the medical experts advise the people to wear face masks and use hand sanitizers but how can the dwellers who live in such kind of conditions afford this ‘luxury’.

“The rate of single face mask is Rs30 and I have a wife and three children, which means I need Rs150 to buy these masks for my family. We don’t have even enough water to frequently wash our hands with soap as being advised by the medical experts,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the federal climate change ministry launched a pilot phase ‘Pakistan COVID-19 Urban Slums Response Programme’ (PCUSRP). It planned to raise funds from National Disaster Risk Management Fund and other donor agencies for expanding the programme countrywide with an aim to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in the slum areas.

Another inmate Samuel Loyll said a non-governmental organization distributed face masks, soaps and hand sanitizers among the inmates few weeks back but, thereafter, no one provided any kind of assistance to them.

He said, “We never ever think about testing because how can it be possible for us to pay thousands of rupees to the private laboratories at the time when we are facing unemployment due to lockdowns and pandemic.”

The government should make arrangements to carry out tests of inmates of this slum area free of cast so that it comes to know the real situation regarding spread of the coronavirus disease, he said.

He said they need the community support to fight this pandemic because they lack basic amenities of life let alone taking precautionary measures advised by the government.