What is Corona Virus? What is the current situation of its outbreak in Balochistan? And how can we protect ourselves from COVID-19?
To answer all these question, The Balochistan Post exclusively interviewed Dr Ahmed Ali for its readers.
The virus which has infected 4 lac people and killed 18 thousand all around the world has now been termed as a Pandemic.
The seriousness of this pandemic can be measured by the failure of the world’s biggest economies, such as, America and European countries to cope with the number of patients.
Countries are moving towards complete lock down of cities so they can lower the curve and avoid over-burdening of their hospitals.
A region like Balochistan, which lacks the basic health facilities and a proper health care system, what kind of crises would Balochistan face on Coronavirus’ outbreak? How can one tackle such a crisis?
The Balochistan post interviewed Dr Ahmed Ali, who is a Post Graduate resident at the department of cardiology at Bolan medical university.
The Balochistan Post: What is Coronavirus?
Dr Ahmed Ali: The virus which started spreading from the Wuhan city of China. The virus has now been identified as Coronavirus or COVID-19 by World Health Organization (WHO).
Co stands for Corona
Vi stands for Virus
D stands Disease
19 stands for 2019
Although there are numerous types of viruses only 7 out them transmit from animals to humans and attack our respiratory system. Previously, a few such viruses have affected humans, such as, SARS(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2002 and MERS(Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in 2012 which affected 10 thousand people and killed 1600.
SARS transmitted from a wild cat to humans and MERS from a camel. Scientists are yet to confirm what animal was the career of COVID-19, but it is reported that the virus contacted a human from a fish market in Wuhan city where several mammals were also being sold.
This virus has now spread in most of the countries in the world. According to WHO, the mortality rate of the virus is less than the rate at which it spread. This virus attacks the respiratory canal and causes inflammation of the tract, flu, coughs and breathing difficulties. A research has found out that a Chloroquine or Hydrochloroquine can help in its treatment.
This virus can spread through body fluids when someone coughs or sneezes. The common way to protect oneself from getting the infection is to take care of personal hygiene.
The Balochistan Post: What is a pandemic?
Dr Ali: A pandemic is a disease that spreads globally and affects people on a mass level. WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Adanam had declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11th March, 2020. As this virus has spread in 189 countries of the world and affected more than 3 lac people.
The Balochistan Post: What is the situation of Coronavirus outbreak in Balochistan?
Dr Ali: As we know this disease has turned into a pandemic and like other parts of the world it has reached Balochistan as well. This virus entered Balochistan through the Taftan border when thousands of pilgrims were returning from Iran which is one of the most affected countries now. So far, 110 cases of the disease have been confirmed in Balochistan and only 1 person has died due to the virus.
The Balochistan Post: Balochistan has a low and scattered population, is the virus still a threat for this region?
Dr Ali: The fact that Balochistan’s population is scattered over a large landmass will definitely have its positives and slow the spread of the virus compared to densely populated regions but the threat is intact due to the negligence of the government by allowing the infected enter the region without running tests on them.
The Balochistan Post: Is Balochistan Health Department capable of containing the virus?
Dr Ali: Sadly, the health department is only limited to claims but we have seen the medical staff who function as the frontline against the disease they don’t even have the safety kits. Ventilators which are necessary for critical patients are in scarce.
It seems impossible for the health department to contain the virus once it outbreaks on a large scale.
The Balochistan Post: What steps are important to stop its spread across Balochistan?
Dr Ali: This virus spreads through human contact, thus it is necessary to restrict people at their homes or they themselves should avoid going to places where human contact becomes inevitable.
To contain its spread inside the region, local transport should be banned for the time being. Individually a person can protect himself by following basic precautions which include personal hygiene like washing the hands on a regular basis.