Monday, May 4, 2020

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#CoronaInPakistan #coronavirusinpakistan - 105 passengers repatriated from UAE to Pakistan test positive for Covid-19

At least 105 Pakistanis who were flown to Islamabad from the United Arab Emirates on a repatriation flight have tested positive for the coronavirus, Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner retired Capt Anwarul Haq said on Monday.
The development, along with a rise in positive cases among passengers returning from other Gulf countries, has caused concern among officials and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf said the matter has been taken up with UAE authorities.The 105 passengers were among 209 nationals who were brought home on an Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi on April 28, according to the government's Covid-19 portal. The travelers were initially moved to the quarantine facility at the Fatima Jinnah Women University.
However, the 105 people who tested positive were eventually shifted to the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) while 79 others who tested negative were allowed to go home with directions to self-isolate, Haq told DawnNewsTV.
He said the tests of 27 passengers were being conducted again to verify their status.
The government has been running a repatriation operation through the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and other airlines to bring home Pakistanis stranded in other countries.
The development comes days after 190 passengers who were brought to Karachi through special flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Colombo tested positive for the virus.
Out of the 190, 92 belonged to Sindh, 56 to Punjab, 24 to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 18 to Balochistan, according to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
Also, Dawn reported last week that a total of 259 passengers who were among the 3,554 Pakistanis who came back to Punjab by 22 special flights from various countries during the last two weeks tested positive for the coronavirus.More than 760 passengers, who returned from the UAE, Qatar, New York and Colombo on April 28 and April 29, had been quarantined to complete their incubation period before undergoing the testing process.

After exploiting these poor low-paid workers, the UAE is sending them back to Pakistan to bear the health burden.

Issue taken up with UAE
Speaking on Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, SAPM Yusuf said that after the government had opened airports for some flights on April 4, it was decided that the number of passengers being repatriated will be increased gradually to see if the country's health facilities can handle the new cases.
He said approximately 15,000-16,000 Pakistanis have so far been brought home and on certain flights, a "majority" of the passengers tested positive for Covid-19.
According to Yusuf, this was seen predominantly on flights coming from the UAE which carried labourers who often live in cramped and unhygienic conditions in the Gulf country.
"We have now formally taken this up with the UAE government," he said, noting that if arriving passengers continue to test positive, the provinces' health capacity will come under pressure and the government will have to reduce the number of people being repatriated.
He said the government wants to bring home a maximum number of people but in a "safe manner".
Citing data and health experts, he said it was wrong to assume that all the passengers get infected after travelling in an airplane, adding that many of them are positive prior to travelling but often don't show any symptoms.
Answering a question, he said other countries are often not willing to spend PCR Covid-19 tests on passengers travelling to Pakistan and often reserve them for their own citizens. They are ready to conduct other types of tests of the passengers but those aren't considered accurate by Pakistan health experts, Yusuf added.
He said although several thousand Pakistani workers in the Gulf countries are returning home because they have been laid off, many others have been suspended or given paid or unpaid leaves.
However, he acknowledged that all of these workers are among Pakistanis who send remittances home and therefore "a lot of work is being done and we are talking to other countries to save the jobs of as many labourers as possible".

Sewer Cleaners Wanted in Pakistan: Only Christians Need Apply.

By Zia ur-Rehman and Maria Abi-Habib

In Pakistan, descendants of lower-caste Hindus who converted to Christianity centuries ago still find themselves marginalized, relegated to dirty jobs, and grim fates.
Before Jamshed Eric plunges deep below Karachi’s streets to clean out clogged sewers with his bare hands, he says a little prayer to Jesus to keep him safe.The work is grueling, and he wears no mask or gloves to protect him from the stinking sludge and toxic plumes of gas that lurk deep underground.“It is a difficult job,” Mr. Eric said. “In the gutter, I am often surrounded by swarms of cockroaches.” After a long day, the stench of his work lingers even at home, a constant reminder of his place in life. “When I raise my hand to my mouth to eat, it smells of sewage,” he said.
A recent spate of deaths among Christian sewer cleaners in Pakistan underscores how the caste discrimination that once governed the Indian subcontinent’s Hindus lingers, no matter the religion.Like thousands of other lower-caste Hindus, Mr. Eric’s ancestors converted to Christianity centuries ago, hoping to escape a cycle of discrimination that ruled over every aspect of their lives: what wells of water they could drink from, what jobs they could hold. Manual sewer cleaners, known as sweepers, are at the bottom of that hierarchy, the most untouchable of the untouchable Hindu castes.
But when the Indian subcontinent broke up in 1947 and Pakistan was formed as a homeland for the region’s Muslims, a new, informal system of discrimination formed. In Pakistan, Muslims sit at the top of the hierarchy. And as one of Pakistan’s small Christian minority, Mr. Eric has now been forced into the same work his Hindu ancestors had tried to avoid through religious conversion. Although India has outlawed caste-based discrimination with mixed success, in Pakistan it is almost encouraged by the state. In July, the Pakistani military placed newspaper advertisements for sewer sweepers with the caveat that only Christians should apply. After activists protested, the religious requirement was removed.
But municipalities across Pakistan rely on Christian sweepers like Mr. Eric. In the sprawling port city of Karachi, sweepers keep the sewer system flowing, using their bare hands to unclog crumbling drainpipes of feces, plastic bags and hazardous hospital refuse, part of the 1,750 million liters of waste the city’s 20 million residents produce daily.
On a recent day Mr. Eric, 40, had been hired to clean three sewers for $6.
Mr. Eric sends his son to school far from the crowded and segregated neighborhood the city’s sewer cleaners live in, hoping to free him of the discrimination that forced him into this work. Back home, the neighborhood lacks safe drinking water and schools. Swarms of mosquitoes, piles of garbage and overflowing gutters are the area’s only abundance.
While most sweepers like Mr. Eric are illiterate, his generation has been more determined to push their children to attend school to break the cycle of discrimination, just as their ancestors tried to do when they converted. But the children still find themselves discriminated against, forced to adopt the profession of their fathers.Mary James Gill, a former parliamentarian who runs the Sweepers are Superheroes advocacy group, has lobbied for years to pressure the government to formally ban manual sewage cleaning work. But most of the sweepers are illiterate and unorganized, she said, making it easy for the authorities to pressure them to accept the jobs as their only means of income.While Christians make up only 1.6 percent of Pakistan’s population of some 200 million, according to a 1998 government census, rights groups believe they fill about 80 percent of the sweeper jobs. Lower-caste Hindus mostly fill the rest of the slots.When Karachi’s municipality tried to recruit Muslims to unclog gutters, they refused to get down into the sewers, instead sweeping the streets. The job was left to Christians like Mr. Eric, known derogatorily as “choora,” or dirty.
They spend hours inside the city’s sewers. Almost all of them develop skin and respiratory problems because of constant contact with human waste and toxic fumes. And for some, the job has been lethal. “I have seen death from very near,” said Michael Sadiq, legs trembling as he thought about his two-decade career as a sweeper.
Last August, Mr. Sadiq and his relatives, Rafiq Murad and Riaz Masih, sweepers for Karachi’s municipality, were relaxing on their only day off when they were interrupted by a call from their supervisor, ordering them to snap to it.Mr. Murad was the first to step into a gutter 18 feet deep with a rope tied around his waist. As he cleaned the detritus, a flood of putrid black water carrying sand, stones, sludge and a swarm of gases swept him away.Mr. Sadiq scrambled into the sewer to save his cousin but was overwhelmed by the toxic mix and fainted. Mr. Masih followed to help his cousins, but the fumes asphyxiated him, his lifeless body swept away without a struggle. While Mr. Sadiq and Mr. Murad were saved, Mr. Masih was buried so deep, an excavator worked for four hours to extract his dead body from the stinking sludge it was buried under.
“This work has become so dangerous that I need to find a way out,” Mr. Sadiq said. But he, like the rest of the sweepers, is a poor and illiterate Christian, and no other jobs are open to him, he lamented. Two months after Mr. Masih died, two more sewer cleaners died on the job a few miles away. Another sweeper died at the beginning of this month.
Doctors often refuse to treat the sweepers, who are seen as unclean and untouchable.
Officially, Pakistan denies the existence of caste-based practices in the country. But across the country, the discrimination persists.
One form of abuse commonly meted out on Pakistan’s religious minorities has been to accuse them of blasphemy, a crime that is punishable by death in the country, and that at times has been used to settle personal disputes.
In one infamous case in 2010, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death, accused of blaspheming Islam. It later emerged that her Muslim colleagues had ordered her to fetch water as they harvested berries on a hot day. When she drank from the communal cup, they accused her of polluting it and an argument ensued.The case was eventually thrown out for lack of evidence, after Ms. Bibi spent eight years on death row and her family was forced into hiding by the death threats they received.Pakistan has taken a few steps to protect and empower some minorities, but the efforts have failed to help much. A bill was passed in 2009 to reserve 5 percent of all government jobs for non-Muslims. But over a decade later, that goal has not been reached, officials say.
Mr. Eric feels it is only a matter of time before he dies on the job. But he hopes his son can excel in school and shake off the discrimination that has plagued the family for generations.
“After hearing of the deaths in the gutters, I think about what will happen to my family if I die,” Mr. Eric said. “But Jesus Christ will take care of them.”
“I don’t care about my life as long as I can provide my family with a decent living.”

#PPP Music Video - #bilawalfightsagainstcorona #bilawalbhuttoleadsnation - Ab Waqt Ki Zaban Hai BILAWAL

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#bilawalfightsagainstcorona #bilawalbhuttoleadsnation - Imran khan lives in cuckoo’s land, Palwasha Khan

Deputy Secretary Information Pakistan Peoples Party, Palwasha Khan in a reaction to Imran Khan’s address to his ‘Tigers’ has said that they should get him checked by a psychiatrist because he says that the lockdown has created issues.
Palwasha Khan said that the Covid-19 is taking human lives including our doctors and paramedical staff but the Prime Minister is displaying anger towards the lockdown. When Sindh imposed lockdown, at the time, Imran Khan and his tigers had incited people against lockdown in Sindh and the governor and PTI’s federal minister openly violated SOPs. If from the very beginning, the lockdown had been imposed all over Pakistan, we would have succeeded in defeating Covid-19.
Palwasha Khan said that the economy of the country was in a dire state even before Covid-19 had reached Pakistan. One million people had lost their jobs and thousands of newspaper workers had been laid off. Palwasha Khan said that the incompetent prime minister lives in cuckoo’s land and says that a smart lockdown will be imposed if Covid-19 spreads further.

  پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کی مرکزی ڈپٹی سیکریٹری اطلاعات پلوشہ خان نے عمران خان کے ٹائیگرز سے خطاب پر ردعمل کا اظہار کرتے ہوئے پی ٹی آئی والوں کو مشورہ دیا ہے کہ عمران خان کا نفسیاتی علاج کرائیں۔ پلوشہ خان نے کہا کہ کورونا وباءانسانی جانیں نگل رہا ہے، ڈاکٹرز اور پیرا میڈیکل اسٹاف کورونا وباءسے جنگ لڑتے ہوئے اپنی زندگیوں کی بازی ہار رہے ہیں مگر وزیراعظم لاک ڈاﺅن پر برس رہے ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ سندھ میں سخت لاک ڈاﺅن بھی کیا گیا تو وزیراعظم کو اس کے ٹائیگرلوگوں کو لاک ڈاﺅن کے خلاف اکساتے رہے۔ گورنر سندھ اور پی ٹی آئی وفاقی وزراءسرعام ایس او پیز کو توڑتے رہے یہی وجہ ہے کہ پورے ملک میں کورونا تیزی سے پھیل رہا ہے۔ پلوشہ خان نے کہا کہ حالت یہ ہے کہ آزاد کشمیر سے بھی زیادہ اسلام آباد میں کورونا کیسز ظاہر ہوئے ہیں۔
 اگر چیئرمین پیپلزپارٹی بلاول بھٹو زرداری اور ملک بھر کے ڈاکٹرز کی تجاویز کے مطابق سخت لاک ڈاﺅن پر عمل کیا جاتا تو آج پاکستان میں کورونا کو شکست ہو چکی ہوتی۔ پلوشہ خان نے کہا کہ عمران خان کو غریبوں کی فکر صرف مگرمچھ کے آنسو ہیں کیونکہ جب کورونا نہیں تھا تب بھی موجودہ حکومت کے دوران 10 لاکھ افراد بیروزگار ہو چکے تھے۔ اخباری صنعت سے تعلق رکھنے والے ہزاروں افراد فاقہ کشی کا شکار ہو چکے تھے۔
 انہوں نے سوال کیا کہ امریکہ، اٹلی اور چین سمیت تمام ترقی یافتہ ممالک کی حکومتیں بیوقوف تھیں کہ انہوں نے لاک ڈاﺅن کے ذریعے کورونا کو شکست دی۔ پلوشہ خان نے کہا کہ نالائق وزیراعظم کا یہ کہنا کہ اگر وباءتیزی سے پھیلی تو سمارٹ لاک ڈاﺅن کیا جائے گا۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ لگتا ہے کہ عمران خان کسی اور دنیا میں رہ رہے ہیںجو احمقوں کی جنت ہے۔

#coronavirusinpakistan - Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari warns about increasing COVID-19 related deaths in Pakistan

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that rise in the number of deaths after catching coronavirus in Pakistan was very alarming for the governments adding that the pandemic has dragged the conditions to a very worrisome position.

PPP Chairman was talking to a delegation led by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah comprising Health Minister Dr Azra Pehchuho, Dr Abdul Bari Khan CEO of Indus Hospital and Dr Faisal. PPP Chairman was briefed about the coordinated steps taken by Sindh government in its continuous fight against coronavirus.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that timely action of Sindh government generated a series of activities in the country to mount steps against the contagious disease. He pointed out that world was admiring Sindh government’s efforts to protect its citizens but PTI’s Federal government was fighting Sindh government instead of coronavirus.

Video Report - #coronavirusinpakistan - Bilawal Bhutto Criticized Federal Government Policies