IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON DEVELOPING COUNTRY LIKE PAKISTAN

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Covid-19 is a truly global problem,this viral infection reached almost every country of the world leaving its devastating effects that would be remebered until the doomsday.

World powers such as USA, China, France, Russia and UK experienced the worse hits of corona virus and stock exchanges crashed resulting a global loss of billions of dollars and permanent closure of hunderds of companies leaving people jobless.

A barrel of oil was recorded to be cheaper than monthly Netflix subscription. Oil market never observed such a negative trend in oil trading. Pakistan is also badly affected by Covid-19 and the situation is getting worse with each passing day. Hundreds of new infected patients are being reported as death toll touches 564 (present). Pakistan’s majority population is living under poverty line and to support such a large population World Bank in response to Covid-19 issued grant to Pakistan. The Project is financed from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional credit window for developing countries, in the amount of $200 million, of which $100 million is provided through the World Bank Group’s COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility. The extra $38 million financing is repurposed from existing projects and will support federal and provincial governments in purchasing necessary equipment and supplies. Procurement is underway and some equipment and supplies have arrived and being put to service. IMF approved $1.386 billion to support the economy and fight against corona.

Now the point rises that where the government is spending these huge amounts? Are the medical workers fighting against Covid-19 equipped with proper protective gears? Who should be benefiting from financial support? Prime Minister Imran Khan announced “Ehsaas Emergency Fund.” According to Government US$ 1.15 Billion will be distributed among 12 million families, but reportedly there are some claims of unjust distribution of money.

The whole world is struggling to get rid of this deadly virus and for this sake total lockdowns are imposed which seems to be most smart solution to fight this pandemic situation. Countries that fully observed lockdowns are now lifting restrictions in a step-wise manner while monitoring the outcome.

These statistics show current situation of covid-19 globally.

Pakistani Government has decided to culminate the lockdown in country despite of increasing corona cases. Government spokesman stated that “70 million people will drop below the poverty line if lockdown is not lifted.” Senior members of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) have appealed the government not to prematurely terminate the lockdown as medical facilities of nation are not already experiencing unprecedented strain and may not be able to bear any increased number of cases. Central government in coordination with provincial and local administrations is planning a ‘smart lockdown strategy’ to decrease COVID19 transmission in coming days.

It is yet to be seen that how effective thid targeted lockdown strategy will be and how the a strained healthcare system deliver while sustaining staffing shortages owing to sick frontline healthcare workers and increasing number of deaths amongst nurses and physicians.

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