Sunday, May 31, 2020

Ramazan, Eid with a difference

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

“This Ramazan, majority of Muslims around the world while observing Rozas (fasting) offered Taraweeh (late night prayers) quietly in their homes, except a few, who defied government instructions and advices of religious leaders and prayed in mosques. It was against the common sense behavior of protecting themselves, their families and other citizens from the risk of deadly COVID-19,” Senator Nisar Memon, a former federal minister, observed in his latest newspaper article.

“Such a response evokes no surprise because we have neither provided basic education nor proper religious education to our compatriots. Else they would have shielded themselves from pandemic despite Islamabad’s confusing and conflicting response and lack of uniform support to provinces on this pandemic,” he felt. 

“In the spirit of Ramazan the leadership of Ummah, apart from the Fund they committed, did not announce any policy to make us proud Ummatis. The Muslim leadership did not demonstrate their numerical strength but instead succumbed to the worldly gains and protected their own power rather than their people and other Ummatis without realizing that these worldly gains are too meager compared to the wrath of Allah on the Judgement Day and possible denunciation by citizens when they rise,” the former federal minister opined. 

“But what is puzzling is their inability to prepare a Universal Plan for future to fight hunger and disease (now COVID-19 too) which has struck people of Sahara’s in Africa, mountains of Himalayas and plains in Asia. True to their teachings, the Ummatis did not wait for leadership and have massively contributed Zakat and Khairat amongst Ummatis to fulfill their religious obligations as well as national responsibility,” he remarked. 

“It was the month when the Muslims rededicated themselves to their Creator and sought guidance provided in Quran. It was a rebooting to be able to meet the challenges that lie ahead including the pandemic and in doing so serve fellow citizens and earn His favour for coming days and ultimately for the eternal life,” the Senator added.

“Allah says in the Quran, in Surah Al-Baqarah (2-183): ‘O you who believe, Siyam (fasting) is prescribed on you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you may become self-restrained.’ The importance of Siyam in Ramadan is clearly expressed in several sayings of the Prophet (SAW). All Muslims, particularly the leadership, need to do soul searching on their conduct during the month of Ramazan and seek pardon,” he wrote. 

“Eid at the end of holy month of Ramazan is expression of gratitude to the Creator that it gave us the chance to practice His teachings and a festive occasion amongst friends and family. Festivity of Eid this year is somber affair due to sufferings of millions and departure of thousands from this world due to pandemic,” he concluded.

Coronavirus Update: Karachi besieged with record single-day deaths, infection

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Karachi, the largest hub of coronavirus cases in the country, on May 30 reported its all days’ highest number of new infections and relevant deaths as 1,043 and 35, respectively, taking the Sindh’s tally of infections to 1,247 and deaths to 38 for the day. Previously the megapolis had registered its maximum daily new infections (872) on May 20 and daily deaths (30) on May 29. The tally of infections in Karachi has reached to a staggering 21,879.

In the meantime, despite the demise of 65 COVID-19 patients on May 29 and 30, the situation related to intensive care unit beds at 12 hospitals of Karachi did not changed considerably. There were 51 patients on ventilators with another 79 off vents while nine beds were vacant on May 30.

A keen observer said that largely the patients were being kept on ICU beds equipped with ventilators, while they did not require the ventilators and as such, on the other hand, more deserving vent seeking patients were denied admissions on the pretext that ICU beds were already occupied. 

It was suggested that the health authorities should ensure maximum and timely utilization of ventilators available in the ICU block or units of hospitals handling the COVID-19 infected patients. 

“They may have a separate block or section of ICU beds, without ventilators for those who do not need ventilators, so that more and more vent deserving cases are accepted at hospitals.” 

The Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, in his daily COVID-19 related statement said that there were still 310 patients getting treatment in critical condition while 522 were released from hospitals after having recovered from the diseases.

He added that 12,566 coronavirus infected patients were receiving treatment at their respective houses, while 127 were isolated in Quarantine centres, in addition to 931 admitted at various health units across the province. 

Though there was no elaborate information about 35 patients who died at Karachi, a health department summary said that the deceased persons included 12 women and 23 men. 

The deceased men were in the age brackets of 40-86 years while women were aged between 40 to 73 years. 

Three more patients died of COVID-19 diseases outside of Karachi, a woman aged 45 years at Sukkur, a man of 41 years at Thatta and another woman, aged 80 years, lost her life at Hyderabad. 

Apart from Karachi’s 1,043 new cases, other districts also reported cases of infection during the last 24 hours ending at 9 am on May 30. The cases were reported from Ghotki (29), Hyderabad (24), Larkana (23), Jacobabad (22), Sukkur (21), Shikarpur (21), Jamshoro (14), Khairpur (8), Shaheed Benazirabad (8), Sujawal (8), Kambar Shahdadkot (5), Mirpurkhas (5), Dadu (4), Thatta (3), Badin (3), Kashmore (2) and Sanghar (1). 

The province has detected 27,360 coronavirus positive cases so far out of 176,703 samples, the official summary added.