Pakistan is grappling to control the outbreak of coronavirus as eight COVID-19 patients have died and more than 1000 cases have reported in the country. The total number of confirmed cases has reached to over 1100 across the country.
As the country remains under a partial lockdown, common people, local charity organizations and celebrities are playing their role to stem the economic burden on the low-income groups. They are providing them with food, rations, medical assistance and moral support in this difficult time.
Local organizations helping the needy
Al-Khidmat Foundation: One of Pakistan’s largest charity organizations, is distributing ration, enough for 15 days, amongst the families in the low-income areas. In addition, they are also providing soaps, sanitizers and face masks across the country.
“Laborers, and daily wages workers are the worst hit, whose livelihood has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Their immediate worry is [about] food, which we are trying to provide them,” Qazi Sadaruddin, the head of Al-Khidmat’s community services cell, told Anadolu Agency. “Insha Allah [God willing], no one will die of hunger in Pakistan due to lockdown”.
Edhi Foundation: One of the biggest welfare agencies in the world, founded by the internationally-acclaimed social worker, Abdul Sattar Edhi, is importing coronavirus testing kits. The kits will be provided to the government and charity hospitals in the country’s remote areas. In addition, they are distributing rations among needy families.
The charity, which runs a nationwide ambulance service, has made a bulk of its ambulances available to transport the suspected virus patients to the hospitals and quarantine centers across the country.
Saylani Welfare: Another renowned charity group has introduced a mobile phone application and telephone service, where needy families can register themselves and get ration and other essential items.
English Biscuits Manufacturer: The Pakistani confectionery brand has recently announced that it will be moving its advertising budget to help and reach out to the victims affected by COVID-19.
Engro Corporation: Engro Fertilizers have reduced urea prices by Rs 240 per bag. It is to alleviate the adverse impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on our nation. It will also support farmers in these difficult times.
Cricketers to donate in COVID-19 relief fund
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that Pakistani cricketers will be donating a collective amount of five million rupees to the government’s emergency fund to fight coronavirus. In addition to the cricketers’ contribution, PCB staff up to the rank of senior managers will also donate their one-day salary, while the general managers and above will donate two-day salary.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said, “The Pakistan Cricket Board has always stood with the people of Pakistan in desperate times. This is one of the gravest, most challenging and unprecedented times. While we continue to pray for the wellbeing and success of our health workers, we at the PCB are making a small contribution which will support the government in its endeavors against the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Govt relief programs to combat coronavirus
Sindh government, owing to on-going partial lockdown in the province, has decided to distribute two million ration bags among the poor to keep their kitchen running.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has released Rs7.21 billion. It includes Rs6.9 billion for the health department and the rest of the amount for commissioner Sukkur to contain and combat COVID-19 threat.
“I’ll make more funds available to contain, curb and combat the threat of coronavirus but this will be possible when we all will work together with spirit,” he said.
K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed for ration packages [including 20 kilograms worth of flour, 10 kilos each of rice and sugar, a carton of one-liter milk, five kilos of pulses, and five boxes of tea] to be provided to the coronavirus affectees’ families.
Celebrities, civilians not very far behind
Many Pakistani celebrities and citizens are also doing their part for the welfare of the countrymen. They are donating rations in different areas where people aren’t able to get their basic utilities due to lockdown.
Actors Maya Ali, Hira Mani, Feroze Khan, model Anoushey Ashraf, and designer Nomi Ansari were seen providing ration bags to the underprivileged.
On Tuesday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took to Twitter and announced the news of an ‘anonymous’ donation of Rs1 million to the Sindh Coronavirus Emergency Fund.
Although the person donating this generous amount to Sindh’s #coronavirus fund asked to not disclose their name,I’d like to thank them.And to all others who are contributing to the Fund.Thank you! Your contributions will surely make a difference!Let’s fight #coronovirus together! https://t.co/Y6LTnoj0mr
— Murad Ali Shah (@MuradAliShahPPP) March 23, 2020
Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire founder of online retailer Ali Baba has been on a mission to provide free supplies to countries battling the coronavirus. His group sent a plane carrying much-needed medical supplies to Karachi on Wednesday.
Another plane carrying much-needed medical supplies has just landed. These supplies arrived in Pakistan, where they will be transported and distributed throughout the country by the National Disaster Management Authority. @Foundation_Ma #AlibabaFoundation pic.twitter.com/kRwQSJEKD0
— Alibaba Group (@AlibabaGroup) March 25, 2020
With the fight against COVID-19 still on, one can only wish and pray that the cycle of donations and generosity will only continue to grow.
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