Shafaqna Pakistan: South Asia is considered as one of the prominent region of Asia, rich in terms of ethnocentrism and geographical attractions. Its importance increases owing to the presence of two nuclear power countries Pakistan and India.
Since the month of May is around the corner and both Pakistan and India observe the anniversary of its first nuclear testing, but the current situation of Covid-19 has posed unprecedented challenges to both. According to Worldometer statistics, Covid-19 cases in India have reached up to16,555,849 with a death toll of around 188,984.
Whereas in Pakistan, according to the statistics of WHO, around 778,238 cases have been recorded with the deaths increasing day by day. The situation has become so critical in India that despite of the fact that the country was actively engaged in vaccination drive and according to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data, India has so far administered more than 13,01,19,310 doses of Covid-19 vaccinations.
The sudden rise in coronavirus cases in India lead to the closure of the existing vaccinations camps in the country which will definitely have severe repercussions on the huge population of the country. With respect to Pakistan, the NCOC’s recent press conference has highlighted the concerns of the rising cases of coronavirus in the country and has advised to follow SOPs, outdoor dining has been banned along side office working hours has been decided to be till 2pm. The government has decided not to go for complete lockdown instead follow SOPs for mitigating the risks of coronavirus.
The real question lies in the fact that whether both the nuclear powers have ever seen the side of story beyond border conflicts or not. The Covid-19 outbreak has shown the broader picture of the existing systems in both the states. Pakistan, whose economy was already at grinding halt has been adversely affected with the outbreak. The economic crisis in one way or another has made it extremely difficult for country to vaccinate every single individual.
Although, the vaccination drive for senior citizens is successfully going on but it would be highly difficult to vaccinate the whole population with dwindled economy. In case of India, where the recent rise in Covid-19 cases have made it extremely difficult for people to have an access to oxygen in the need of an hour owing to which every second people are losing their loved ones.
The two nuclear powers of South Asia where one is struggling for having a complete access to Covid-19 vaccines and other one is struggling for oxygen cylinders and ventilators giving us the insight that how both of these countries ever since the time of independence have invested a lot on border conflicts and clashes, huge military expenditure for the purpose of becoming a regional hegemon in one way or another.’
It would be pertinent to say that health has always been a least priority for both Pakistan and India. Covid-19 is showing no single sign of abate. Hospitals in Pakistan and India are working beyond their capacities. All the frontline workers are extremely susceptible to coronavirus and have high risk of contracting the disease while dealing with patients day and night. Covid-19 has derailed the important health goals in the region of South Asia as huge number of population is on verge of contracting virus owing to lack of health care facilities provided to the general masses. Lack of investment in health sector and outbreak of such pandemics shows the negligence towards this sector.
Taking care of huge population is although a daunting task but thinking beyond borders and focusing on health care and well being of individuals can ameliorate the current scenario and can prepare the countries to fight against all such future pandemics.
The Nation (Writer: Hamna Ghias Sheikh)