Covid-19 and its consequences ; Abdul Kareem Khan
In January, 2020, the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China spread progressively to other countries,with WHO declaring it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Among the many affected countries beyond China (where 12,307 cases and 259 deaths were reported as of Feb 1, 2020) are others in Asia, including Nepal. About 94.6 million people are affected by corona virus and about 2.02 millions of people have lost their life till now due to this virus all across the world. And about 2 lakhs 67 thousands people were infected among which 1,960 people died of corona in Nepal till now.
On Jan 13, 2020, a 32-year-old man, a Nepalese student at Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China, with no history of comorbidities(symptoms), returned to Nepal who tested corona positive .Even after the appearance of first case in Nepal, the government of Nepal was not so much concious about that .The people from other countries were allowed to visit Nepal easily without any screening and tests at the irport. This negligence of the Nepal government brought Nepal in a very tense condition so that a complete lockdown was done in the month of March 2020.
During this lockdown period, Educational sector was affected very much. Globally, about 1 arab 72 crores 46 lakhs 50 thousands and 870 students regular study was hampered due to Covid-19 and about 91.35% of total students all across the world i.e. about 1 arab 57 crires 52 lakhs70 thousand 54 students were affected by nationwide closers of educational institutions. Talking particularly in context of Nepal about 72 lakhs 14 thousands of Nepalese students going to private and community schools were deprived of their education for long time. It was the time when the bachelor level students were completely ready to appear in their examinations unfortunately, all the universities were called off till further notice. Universities and college were closed for a long time but they were facing challenges to return back the students to their studies but were not able to do so. That's why the students were in very panic situation thinking about their study and career. They were even depressed living at home without any study related tasks for about 8 months.
Not only the students but the other Nepalese who were away from the country for various purposes like study, job etc and were asking to return back to their own land but they were not allowed to come back. The government of Nepal not even tried to bring them back using their own flights with full precautions. Unfortunately many of our Nepalese brother and sisters lose their life away from their own motherland. Nothing can be worse than that for anyone. On the other hand, many Nepalese brothers and sisters were struggling in the border area of India. They were trying to come to their country but were not allowed in the name of precautions and quarantine. Many of them stayed below the trees for many days and some stayed in quarantine in India. There could be nothing worse than that, the condition of quarantine in India was worst, people were treated like animals in the name of covid-19 precautions. But in fact, that was actually the carelessness and failure of the government. You need not to feel sorry for that sorts of situation in India, our government also didn't leans a inch back than India. The condition of quarantine in our country was also worst. Peoples were kept in the quarantine centres without any measures of social distancing. A number of peoples were living in a single rooms of schools. The people in the quarantine were not getting food to eat that's why they sometimes scape away from the quarantine centres. The local government body fails to manage the quarantine properly. Due to this reason the number of cases increases rapidly in the terai region of our country and even in hilly remote areas.
Now coming to the health facilities provided by our government. This covid-19 pandemic has showed our actual position in the sector of health facilities. There were no much resources and manpower to deal the situation. This is all because of our budget allocation in health sector is only 5.34% of the total budget of Nepal i.e. approximately about 78.4 billions of 1.474 trillions( total budget). This is according to the budget allocation of fiscal year 2019/2020. This budget in this sector has been gradually increased in last 2/3 years but it is not enough for better health facilities all across the country. People are still deprived of basic health facilities in various parts of our country. So it was very difficult for the people and government to deal with the situation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The frontline warrior of corona, our doctors were deprived of Basic PPE kits. The doctors were unsafe to deal with patients of corona. Many of our Nepalese brothers and sister died due to corona.
On the other hand, the complete lockdown that was called by the government of Nepal in the month of March 2020 had created a nationwide problem. The middle class and poor class families suffered a lot. The daily wages workers were struggling for food. Many of them died because of hunger and some of them committed suicide due to starvation. According to Unicef Nepal, about 1350 people of Nepal including 319 childrens along with 876 women. Many of the people who were working in different cities of Nepal specially in the capitals Kathmandu were stranded over there due to lockdown, they left to their home towns/villages on foot and many of them died on their way due to starvation. The government hasn't planned anything for them to sort out the solutions of their problems which shows the negligence of government. The government was busy in their internal political conflicts and also there was a dispute on the border area of Lipulake and Limpiyadhura where our neighbour country India has anchorached our land.
Due to this complete/partial shutdown all across the world has shrinked the global economy. Millions of people had lost their jobs and a large numbers of small scale industries and middle scale industries has been closed . The world business has been shutdown. According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by 5.2% this year.1 That would represent the deepest recession since the Second World War. According to World bank, Nepal’s economy is projected to grow by only 0.6 percent in 2021, inching up from an estimated 0.2 percent in 2020 as lockdowns caused by COVID-19 disrupt economic activity, especially tourism. GDP growth in Nepal is estimated at 1.8 percent in FY2020, compared to 7 percent in FY2019. In 2019 , the GDP growth rate was 7.05 % as compared to previous year but, In 2020, it was constricted to only 0.02% and estimated to reach 2.49%in the fiscal year 2021 due to the effect of Corona virus pandemic. World bank also says that the recession of economy is worst-ever in South Asian countries this year.
But one thing that we have seen during this hard time that we Nepalese were helping the needy people during the whole lockdown. They were distributing groceries and clothes to the needy people's. Specially the Muslim community of our country have done a lot during the month of their fasting in which they donates a lot every year. But this year their effort was appreciable.
Now the lockdown has been called off and now situation is pretending to be normal but still we are not corona free country but people are are tired of the lockdown and they want to return back to their work. Still we have to follow the safety measures of corona we should not show any kind of negligence.
Abdul Kareem Khan B. Pharmacy running Purwanchal University