By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

The pandemic has brought to fore the truth behind the façade. In 2020, the US and many European countries faced an uphill task to accommodate Covid-19 patients in hospitals. Medical facilities and equipment became scarce as the number of infected patients increased. The US healthcare system deteriorated. It compelled the world to wonder if a superpower can experience such a catastrophe, how the developing or the least-developed countries will cope with the pandemic. India’s healthcare is also on the verge of collapse.

Videos being shared on social media show heart-wrenching footages as patients are collapsing on the sidewalks as the hospitals are working at full capacity. Twitter is abuzz with the news that Indians need oxygen cylinders and hospital beds while both have become the most needed item at the moment. The authorities in Pakistan need to think proactively and arrange for medical equipment beforehand. However, it is the citizen’s responsibility to give utmost priority to protect themselves from the infection. Unfortunately, seldom do people wear masks.

 They have also reduced the use of hand sanitizers. Social distancing is also not being followed as people are attending Sehri and Iftari events at restaurants in Ramazan. As Eid approaches, people will make their way to the market that will accentuate the spreading of the disease. April 23-24 marked the day when 157 people lost their lives in a single day since the pandemic began. This news must instill fear among the people. Precaution is the most important act we need to follow.

 Each one of us must wear a mask, sanitize hands frequently, reduce going out, refrain from physical contact, and protect ourselves through all means necessary. God forbid, if a situation akin to that prevailing in India transpires in Pakistan, our healthcare system will also be on the verge of collapse. In such a situation, chaos will erupt that will make matters worse. Every citizen must guard themselves against the infection.