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Covid-19, a bigger curse than terrorism

National

November 28, 2020

(Sitara-e-Shujat, Nashan-e-Imtiaz)

Covid-19 is invisible terrorist and in a few months, it has grown into a big monster. The coronavirus has infected more than 60.9 million people across the world to date, and killed 1.43 million, which is more than those killed in terrorist attacks of Taliban, al-Qaeda, Daish and other terrorist attacks and wars.

Time will tell if Covid-19 is a man-made or a naturally grown virus. The deadly coronavirus pandemic has stirred up the worst global crisis since World War-II. Many claims, speculations, conspiracy theories and misinformation about the disease have found their way into the international print and electronic media, blurring the distinction between real and fake news.

It is very important for scientists and researchers to dig out the reality and bring an end to the mystery. For the purpose, on April 3, 2020, this writer sent a letter to Secretary-General United Nations to form a high-powered commission to probe if Covid-19 is a man-made or a naturally grown virus and to locate its origin. For the proposed UN commission on Covid-19, seven terms of reference (ToRs) were suggested to the UN secretary-general. Those ToRs included accurate identification of the geo-location of the Covid-19’s origin, identification of areas with zero patient, discovery as to why the behaviour, intensity and fertility rate of Covid-19 varies from country to country, investigation of whether Covid-19 is a man-made or naturally-grown virus and examination of the allegations of transportation of the virus from one place to the other in the world, as a ‘biological warfare tactics’.

It is also needed to be ascertained if there is any evidence of such virus because of the cross-breeding of some animals or any evidence in the past regarding the transfer of such virus from animals to human body or emergence of any such virus due to consumption of wild meat or seafood. All the ongoing counter allegations of various countries against each other required to be investigated by invoking Bio Warfare Convention 1975. The investigation did start, but reportedly Secretary-General UN had to stop it because of an interstates row between the big boys and hence it is suspended for the time being. The statement issued by the WHO on July 7, 2020, stated that the WHO experts would travel to China to work together with their Chinese counterparts to prepare scientific plans for identifying the zoonotic source of the SARS-COV-2 virus. It added that the experts will develop the scope and ToRs for a WHO-led international mission. This initiative gave a real hope that the mystery of the virus’ origins, which has become a political powder keg and the subject of countless conspiracy theories, will finally be investigated more thoroughly and transparently.

The WHO said: “Identifying the origin of emerging viral disease has proven complex in the past epidemics in different countries. A well-planned series of scientific researches will advance the understanding of animal reservoirs and the route of transmission to humans.

“The process is an evolving endeavour which may lead to further international scientific research and collaboration globally.”

To stop the next pandemic, and further devastation by Covid-19, it needs to unravel the origins of Covid-19 and to know whether it is natural or manmade. Biowarfare is not new to us and there have been bio-war inventions used in World War-I and II. This investigation cannot remain shut forever and one day its reality will unfold as to who had tried to create this bio-weapon and released only one gram in the world, which is now mutating itself and it has different genetic behaviours.

Let us hope we hear something about it soon. Meanwhile, I foresee, corona is posing more threat and danger to Pakistan and India than they are for each other as according to Imperial College Pakistan, the virus will lead to the worst wave from October 2020 to January 2021.

I had also warned the government about the rapid increase in coronavirus cases in these months but sadly our government took my advice very lightly rather criticised me and now the nation is witnessing a rapid increase in Covid cases. Today our country reported more than 3,000 cases for 3rd consecutive day and so far it has infected 167,381 in Sindh, 116,506 in Punjab, 45,828 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 16,942 in Balochistan and 28,555 in Islamabad 28,555, while 2866 in Sindh, 2923 in Punjab, 1344 in KP, 165 in Balochistan and 297 have died from Covid-19 in Islamabad so far.

The total number of persons killed in terrorism for the last year is hardly above 50 while the coronavirus death toll exceeded 9,897 thus far. The comparison shows that Covid has taken more lives than all the terrorist attacks together this country has faced for the past one year. It is not only Pakistan which is under attack but developed countries like the USA and the UK also have higher Covid rate and the patients are multiplying in higher figures with each passing day. Neither the government nor the people of Pakistan are taking this deadly virus seriously. We, unfortunately, do not have the capacity and capability to deal with this monster which is an invisible terrorist itself.

Covid-19 virus consists of a large number of viruses that attack the body within no time and take command of the friendly virus in the body to destroy the immune system. According to international reports, so far coronavirus killed 50,453 in Italy, 263,701, 43,131 in Spain, 49,232 in France, 134,273 in India, 4634 in China, and 9897 in Pakistan. The developing in house fight with Corona now has become more lethal than the human loss on borders and death toll due to terrorism. Covid has now turned into the biggest emerging enemy of humanity and the biggest threat to the global economy.

The third new Corona wave with a more lethal strain which is already been discovered in the north of Denmark. The Danish government has stated that a mutation of the virus had been found in 12 people infected by minks.

As part of another serious and dangerous development, since June 2020, 214 human cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Denmark with SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with farmed minks. All 12 cases were identified in September 2020 in North Jutland, Denmark. The cases ranged in age from 7 to 79 years, and eight had a link to the mink farming industry and four cases were from the local community.

Danish scientists are particularly concerned about one mink-related strain of the virus, found in 12 people, raising concerns about vaccine development. Now the mutated strain of Covid-19 has prompted Denmark to order the culling of some 17 million minks. This new strain has made the world more worried. The vaccine brought is also not showing the 100 effective and the effective vaccine is expected by 2022. The world is coming in a highly dangerous Covid infection zone and recent hype in Covid in Pakistan is taking us to irreversible damage. May Allah protect us all from this deadly virus.

Note: Opinions expressed are solely my own and not necessarily to reflect the views or opinions of my party.

The writer is former interior minister of Pakistan, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Chairman of Think Tank ‘Global Eye’. He can be reached at: [email protected] , Twitter @Senrehmanmalik