Young Corona Victims in Pakistan Defies Global Trajectory

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Most of the Corona victims are old people with underline medical conditions. But the majority of the over 1200 cases reported in Pakistan constitutes of youths falling in the age bracket of 21-30 years…reports Asian Lite News

Islamabad: Pakistan Heath Minister Zafar Mirza interacts with the leaders of SAARC nations on combating COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, via video conferencing in Islamabad on March 15, 2020. (Photo: IANS/PIB) by .
Pakistan’s Dr Zafar Mirza interacts with the leaders of SAARC nations on combating COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, via video conferencing in Islamabad. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

The demography change baffles medical experts.

“24 per cent of the confirmed cases in Pakistan so far are between 21 to 30 years of age,” said Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health.

“The pattern is unlike other countries where cases mostly comprise older people,” Mirza said during his televised media briefing on Wednesday, as reported by The News International.

Pakistan has reported 1227 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 421 in the southeastern province of Sindh alone, while eight people have died of the infection in the country.

It may be noted that a majority of the over 81,000 cases of coronavirus reported in China constituted of people aged 65 or more.

Speaking to the Pakistani daily, Chief Epidemiologist at the National Institute of Health Dr Rana Safdar said that the higher percentage of the young population in Pakistan as compared to China explains why a majority of the confirmed cases in Pakistan constitute youths.

During his televised address, Mirza further informed that men constitute for 64 per cent of the case, with 36 percent being women. Furthermore, the locally transmitted cases of the virus constitute seven percent of the total cases, while the remaining 93 percent contracted the disease in foreign lands.

Mirza further informed that Pakistan has received over 5000 N-95 masks from China for use by health professionals engaged in the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, a massive consignment of personal protective equipment from China is expected to arrive on Friday.

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People wearing face masks are seen. (Photo by Alberto Lingria/Xinhua)

Situation in Mirpur

Amid strong protests by locals, the Pakistan Army has started to move COVID-19 positive patients from Punjab province to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) and Gilgit-Baltistan – the two most marginalised areas under Pakistani occupation, ANI reported.

Sources in POK reveal that special quarantine centers have been set-up in Mirpur and other major cities in the occupied regions to cleanse the Punjab province of COVID-19 patients as Army top brass has ordered that no positive patient should be anywhere near where army facilities and army family housing is there.

Consequently, large numbers of patients are being moved in locked transport carriers to Mirpur city and other parts of POK and Gilgit-Baltistan. The local residents have carried out protests against setting up of quarantine centers for COVID-19 patients from Pakistan as the region already lacks infrastructure and trained medical staff. They fear the pandemic will grip the entire region and lives of indigenous Kashmiri people are in danger. However the Pakistan Army top brass is not concerned about this as the POK and Gilgit-Baltistan have no political significance in Pakistan especially when compared to the Punjab province. Residents in Muzaffarabad are terrified that their region is going to be hit by the Pandemic and more so because the area simply has no health care facilities to deal with even minor ailments.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. (File Photo: IANS) by .
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. (File Photo: IANS)

They say that the Pakistan Army only thinks about Punjab and nothing else. Jaffar Ismail, a trader in Muzaffarabad’s busy downtown area said, “We have been seeing movement of Coronavirus patients from all over Punjab to hospitals in Muzaffarabad and we are very scared at this latest betrayal of the Kashmiri people by the Pakistan army “.

“The Pakistan Army only thinks about Punjab and they want to keep Punjab free of this Coranavirus. They are treating Kashmir and Gilgit as the dustbin of Pakistan, ” he added.

Dr. Amjad Ayub Mirza, a political activist from POK said, “On one side we are giving emphasis on social distancing and other side Pakistan government is forcing people to gather and demonstrate against the setting up of quarantine centers.”

“There is lack of governance in Pakistan that’s why they have handed over the entire country to the army. The army is making all arrangements to suit its interests,” said the activist.

 

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