Coronavirus Pandemic: almost the whole world stands besieged

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M FAZAL ELAHI,

Nerve wrecking Indeed! The virulent ‘Coronavirus COVID-19’ disease is
affecting over a 162 countries and territories around the world, and 1 international
conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan).
It wouldn’t be inappropriate to say that the perilous Coronavirus Pandemic has sent
shiver down the spines of millions of people across the globe. People are getting
affected by the day. People are dying every day. Those at the helm of governance
in countries across the world, including Pakistan, are relentlessly engaged 24/7 to
not only tighten its grip over this deadly disease but also find effective ways and
means to completely eradicate it.
What does COVID-19 mean? COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease
caused by a new coronavirus. The disease was discovered in China in December
2019 and has since spread around the world.

May Allah Almighty bestow his mercy on all the people across the world,
irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. The pace at which this deadly
disease is spreading and taking its toll on human lives across the globe leaves the
world community totally perplexed to understand how to grapple with this
gruesome menace. According to latest (March 17) figures quoted by Worldometer,
183,047 people stand affected by coronavirus across the world. Roughly 7,175
people have lost their valuable lives to this ghastly disease. The number of people
who have recovered so far stand at 79,890. The number of active cases worldwide
stands at 95,982. Reported serious and critical cases are 6,163. However, a fact
that cannot be overlooked is that while China remains the worst affected country
of the world, the recovery rate vis-à-vis COVID-19 (68,694) is indeed very
encouraging.

According to latest (March 17) figures furnished by ‘Worldometer’ among some of
the badly affected affluent countries of the world China ranks number-1 vis-à-vis
COVID-19 with the number of affected people standing at 80,902, followed by
Italy 27,980, Iran 14,991, South Korea 8,404, Spain 9,942, France 6,633, Germany
7,272, USA 4,803, Switzerland 2,353, UK 1,543, Norway 1,348, Netherlands
1,413 and Sweden 1,121. Predictably, in terms of deaths that have occurred so far
among the countries cited above, due to COVID-19, China, yet again, ranks
number-1 with 3,226 fatalities followed by Italy 2,158, Iran 853, South Korea 81,
Spain 342, France 148, Germany 17, USA 93, Switzerland 19, UK 55, Norway 3,
Netherland 24, Sweden 7. Pakistan too stands affected, though not seriously, by the
deadly Coronavirus Pandemic. According to latest update (March 17) number of
people affected by the disease in Pakistan stands at 183.
No matter whatever the above statistics depict, one is compelled to acknowledge
that the gruesome Coronavirus Pandemic has engulfed the entire world with
varying intensity. The unparalleled magnitude with which this disease has struck
communities across the world is compelling all, the affluent and the poor alike, to
realize that mankind is extremely vulnerable to natural calamities, and that the only
super power who can provide relief from such calamities is none but Allah (God)
Almighty.

In this era of phenomenal scientific advancement people, particularly those belonging to
the affluent societies of the world, may consider my belief a little too orthodox to
appreciate. Some may also find it amusing. They may think the way they want to. But as
an enlightened Muslim my conviction vis-à-vis the supremacy of Allah Almighty stands
unshakable. He is the most beneficent and the most merciful.
Regardless of our caste, creed or religion we all belong to Allah Almighty and to Him we
will return. He is the only power, rather the super power, which has a hold over our
destiny, and it is only He who can provide relief to mankind from all sorts of calamities.
Undeniably, we, the creation of God Almighty, have done and continue to blatantly do all
that we could to annoy him and invite his wrath. We, the human beings, have crossed all
bounds of graciousness and brazenly defied all His commandments. We have challenged
his patience endlessly and what we all have got in return is the agony of Coronavirus.
Unambiguously, the magnitude of the crisis that confronts the world today is gargantuan.
This crisis cannot be effectively resolved unless collective endeavors are made to address
it. Time has come for the world to stand united against the deadly Coronavirus. The
affluent countries of the world must come forward and extend every possible support,
technical and monetary, to the less privileged nations of the world to come to grips with
this life-threatening disease with unwavering fortitude and endurance. Failure to do so,
may, God forbid, make the world confront a catastrophe of unfathomable magnitude.
It is a passionate appeal to the world community that parallel to the relentless worldly
endeavors that we continue to make to fight this nerve-wracking virus COVID-19 let us
all, as stated above, raise our hands in prayers and bow our heads in reverence before
Allah Almighty and sincerely seek his forgiveness for all our wrong doings. Beg Him to
pardon all our sins, bestow his benevolence on us, and provide relief to us from the lethal
Coronavirus. He will certainly listen to the suffering mankind for whom He has
unparalleled love. However, once He does let us all vow to ourselves that we will all
abide by all His commandments in letter and spirit; sincerely respect each other’s
existence and rights, bring an end to the conflicts we continue to wage against each other,
across the world, and endeavor to make this world a bastion of peace.
(The writer is an analyst and freelance columnist based in Islamabad-Pakistan)

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