The National Commander and Operation Center (NCOC) has identified 20 cities of Pakistan as potential hotspots for the novel coronavirus on Monday. Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province is one of them. The cities as cited by the NCOC include Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Swat, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Sialkot, Gujrat, Ghotki, Larkana, Khairpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Malakand and Mardan as potential COVID19 hotspots.
The NCOC has recommended smart lockdown in these 20 cities to contain the virus.
Cases of the deadly virus continue to increase in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan. However, most of the cases out of more than 8,000, confirmed so far in Balochistan, have been reported from Quetta. The provincial government had eased the lockdown in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan to facilitate the people. However, people appear to be least bothered about social distancing and standard operating procedures (SOPs) introduced by the government to contain the virus.
Subsequently, the deadly virus continues to increase with every passing day. Spokesman government of Balochistan, Liaquat Shahwanin during a press conference revealed that 70 percent of cases of the total cases were reported within one month in the province. He also warned that cases can easily jump to 20,000 by the end of July this year.
Roads, streets, and public places are jam-packed with people, ignoring all calls by the concerned quarters to adopt social-distancing and stay at home. Fatima Jinnah Chest and General Hosptial and Sheikh Zayed Hospital have been facing the brunt of increasing cases of the deadly virus. Scores of the patients are in critical condition with doctors trying hard to protect precious human lives at the cost of their lives.
Secretary health Balochistan, Dostain Jamaldini during a press conference also revealed that 19 out of 21 heirs of those recently died in Killa Abdullah were tested positive for the deadly virus. This proves that the death ratio is much higher than what is being quoted by the Corona Cell and health department government of Balochistan in this respect.
The daily Quetta Voice has been reporting about the increasing deaths of aged people in Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Quetta, Jaffarabad, Mastugn and other parts of Balochistan since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Since people in some parts of rural Balochistan consider coronavirus as social stigma, therefore, very few people adopt social distancing and stay at home. Most people still consider the virus as a conspiracy or a foreign problem rather than our own problem.
The NCOC has only named Quetta in its list of 20 cities as potential hotspots for the COVID19. Ground realities and increasing deaths in parts of rural Balochistan show that the virus has penetrated everywhere in the province. Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Jaffarabad, Mastung, Chaghi and other parts of Balochistan are also potential hotspots for the deadly virus if testing capacity is improved and maximum tests are conducted.
The Balochistan government must adhere to the suggestions of health professionals in this regard. Only then, we can contain the virus and reduce the number of cases.