People Well Off Before Coronavirus Hit are Now Begging for Food, Says Pakistani Church Leader

Dr Bishop Ijaz Inayat

Bishop Dr Ijaz Inayat, a church leader of Pakistan, has said that an inadequate support from the government and the third sector to people in the midst of the Corona virus has even forced previously well off people to beg for food.

“The government has announced a one-off payment of 12000 Pakistani rupees (approximately US$ 72.14) to people who have been hit hard by the pandemic. This is not nearly sufficient.”, said Dr Ijaz Inayat, a former Bishop of Church of Pakistan, who is currently visiting the U.S.

He expressed his regret that Pakistan being a developing country doesn’t have schemes comparable to Payroll Protection Program in the U.S. or a furlough scheme in the UK under which the governments of the two countries are supporting employers to keep employees in jobs.

Dr Inyat deplored the absence of any support system in Pakistan for people to fall back on in the midst of the corona virus, stating the poorest in Pakistan have been hit the hardest with the advent of the Corona virus in Pakistan.

Pointing to a recent escalation in the number of the Corona virus cases in India Dr Inayat feared that the already stretched Pakistani healthcare system wouldn’t be able to cope at all with the demand should the number of the Corona virus cases begin rising.

According to an estimate the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in the Pakistani capital Islamabad has only 20 ventilators.

In the rural areas, Dr Inayat said, people are self-medicating themselves from COVID-19 symptoms by using herbal medicines or with aspirin.

“I am deeply concerned how the healthcare system will cope if the caseload of coronavirus begins increasing comparable to the neighboring India”, said Dr Inayat.

Recent media reports suggest that India is reporting more than 75000 Corona virus cases daily, the fastest-growing coronavirus caseload of any country in the world.

Pakistan, according to worldometer, a website that records the number of the Corona virus cases, deaths and recoveries, states that Pakistan has reported nearly 300,000 cases, and the virus has claimed 6,359 deaths.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service