Twin menace wreaks havoc in the holy month

Praying for forgiveness.–File photo

The Muslims the world over are observing Ramazan, but in Pakistan people are facing a plethora of problems and missing the true spirit of the holy month.

Unlike other countries where people are facilitated on such occasions, rocketing prices and inflation are breaking the back of the common people in this neck of the woods. It is not a novel thing as every year in Ramazan we witness a huge spike in the prices of various commodities. The skyrocketing prices of essential food items have encumbered the citizens. Fruit sellers are charging almost double the amount making the highly nourishing commodities out of the reach of people who hope against hope to get the help of those at the helm of affairs.

This is the second time the holy month is being observed amid the ravaging coronavirus wave which is nerve-wracking. The scale of casualties is much more than it was in the previous two waves. Urban areas of Pakistan such as Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Multan besides Islamabad, Peshawar and Swat are its main target. The number of patients in these cities is on the rise with each passing day. The death toll has spiked dangerously and is feared to go up owing to the alarming rise in the number of patients. Shortage of hospital beds and ventilators has aggravated the situation.

Long and tiring duration of the lethal pandemic has made people somewhat accustomed to it and changed their attitude towards the infection. The response of both government and public is pathetic. The government has failed to enforce the safety protocols and SOPs primarily due to public’s unpardonable lack of cooperation. It is unfortunate that most people are not following the SOPs by avoiding masks and have in fact, stopped harbouring the fear of the disease. The inefficiency of the government is also a sad reality.

The delayed procedure of vaccination due to the unavailability of vaccines from the global alliance (GAVI) is said to be another reason for increase in the devastation of infection. Experts maintain that herd immunity is possible if 70 per cent of the people in an area get infected or are vaccinated.

The government plans to vaccinate people of all ages after Eid. In the NCOC meeting Asad Umar has declared that market timings will be from Sehr to 6pm and Taraweeh prayer should be performed in open places but the million dollar questions is, will the public follow the instructions? At many places people are flagrantly violating the protocols while offering congregational prayers.

It is a matter of concern that the holy month is not like it used to be in the days gone by. The people of Pakistan are observing it amidst the twin menace of pandemic and inflation. It is time the powers that be realized the gravity of the situation and rid the people of these problems by doing its bit. People certainly deserve better.

The writer is a freelancer based in Lahore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *