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Efficacy of Corona Tigers Relief Force

Adeel Mukhtar

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Adeel Mukhtar

No government is fighting alone against Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). Their public is their great assets and weapons. They are not only helping in staying in the lockdown but also sharing government’s burden of social services. The United States’ Department of Defence (DoD) is helping in America’s fight against COVID. The United Nations has established Coronavirus global health emergency units. The European Union (EU) is coordinating COVID outbreak in Europe and taking numerous actions to mitigate socio-economic impact in the EU together with reinforcing public health sector. In short, countries, regions, cities and ordinary citizens are going an extra mile in helping to neighbors and to those who need them the most. They are also helping each other by donating protective equipment, such as masks and ventilators etc.

In Pakistan, the situation and enthusiasm to fight this pandemic is no less than the other parts of the world. The Government of Pakistan (GoP) has given a PKR 1.13 trillion relief package against COVID, partially financed by the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB). Pakistan has set up one of the world’s most focused monetary programs – the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP). Moreover, GoP has declared to give Rs 12,000 to the deserving people. Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) and the National Humanitarian Network (NHN) have offered full scale collaboration to control the spread of COVID.  Al-Khidmat Foundation is circulating essential food items among the needy families. “Workers, and every day compensation laborers are the most noticeably awful hit, whose job has been gravely influenced by the coronavirus pandemic. Their prompt concern is [about] nourishment, which we are attempting to give them,” Qazi Sadaruddin, the head of Al-Khidmat’s said. “A total of 52 small and big hospitals across the country,” he added, “had been designated to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, of which two had been taken over by the government’s trained staff.” “The advantage we, and other big charity organizations have is that we have been involved in the relief activities for decades. We know where and when rations need to be distributed,” Sadaruddin said. Edhi Foundation is bringing in COVID testing kits. “We are working 24/7 to assist the government in battle against coronavirus. Our 1,500 ambulances are available 24 hours to transport the suspected patients to the hospitals and quarantines across the country,” said Faisal Edhi.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Imran Khan has set up a “Corona Tigers Relief Force”, comprising volunteers from across the country. While addressing to journalists, he said that “We have a large youth population in our country which is our asset; we need youngsters in the fight against coronavirus.” He further added that “It is important to understand that when China enforced a lockdown, it delivered food to people’s homes. We did not have any such infrastructure … for this we are setting up the special youth force, we will deliver food and other necessities to people through them.” According to the Prime Minister khan “We will register all such people in our Ehsaas programme. People all over Pakistan will contribute money which will be given to them [families in need].”

“Corona Relief Tigers” will help the government in avoid the proliferation of COVID in the country. Recruitment for corona is volunteers-oriented. As no country can tell the actual harms from COVID, the Tiger force will help the government in dealing with the worst-case scenarios. “In Pakistan, this is a tall order. Today, if we want to lockdown, we don’t have the infrastructure to get food to people’s homes. So I am announcing today, we are developing a special youth force. Preparations for this are in full swing. We will have a membership drive with the citizen’s portal,” said PM Imran. He further added that “we have the world’s second largest youth population” which is the greatest asset for Pakistan. “The corona relief tigers will be sent all over Pakistan. We will map out where there is a spike in cases and these tigers will be sent to those areas to deliver essential supplies.”

In a nutshell, the spread of virus is unpredictable; that is why, it is difficult for the Government to come up with a comprehensive plan to handle the situation, maintaining a balance between economic growth and relief efforts. In this context, Tiger force will comprise mainly of youth and razakars from all strata of the society. Their primary function would be to ensure that poor people become aware about ongoing crisis-awareness campaign. Supplies/ medical equipment would be distributed by volunteers at doorsteps of the poor in villages and far flung areas. Above all, It will be an all Pakistan based Organisation and not provincial centric, which means that anyone can apply in it. Volunteer force would also act as an example for other employees/ workforce regarding performing daily duties/ work during crisis situations and at the same time practicing all medical precautions as well. Given extraordinary times, the establishment of Tiger force was need of the hour and, surely, it is a welcome step.

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