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COVID-19: Hunza at the crossroads of a wonderful victory and a deadly defeat



Coronavirus Hunza Gojal

Because of the meticulous measures taken by the community to deal with the COVID-19, Hunza has miraculously kept itself free from the pandemic. But the risks of the virus penetrating the community still loom large and Hunza has entered a decisive phase of its war against COVID-19 in Gilgit-Baltistan where it faces both a wonderful victory and a deadly defeat.

As the economic, psychological and social impact of the stay-home and social distancing policy is pushing members of the community residing in cities to the brink, they are planning to move back to Hunza. A step important for their safety but it also sets the alarm bells ringing.

Thanks to the government of Gilgit-Baltistan for facilitating excavation of their citizens stranded in different Pakistani cities but the step although laudable and logical comes with its own risks. According to data obtained from Gojal Islamilia Students Association Karachi (GISAK), around 200 people will be leaving for Gojal from Karachi alone.

The figures for Shinaki and Central Hunza district are much higher besides there is no data available about another metropolis. With the huge influx of Hunzais in the coming days, Hunza’s war against COVID-19 will enter its decisive phase. Proper screening of each and every individual entering the district should be the first step followed by the mandatory 14-days quarantine before they meet their families.

The district administration might not have all the resources but the community like always can step in to manage it. Quarantine centers should be established in every village. This seems a daunting task but thanks to the generosity of the people of Hunza who can easily manage shelter and food for their own people without seeking help from anyone.

Without proper screening and mandatory quarantine of the Hunzukuts returning from cities, Hunza’s success can turn into a nightmare. No matter how exhausted the volunteers are but they need to strictly implement the screening process and mandatory quarantine because Hunza stands only one step away from a wonderful victory or a deadly defeat.

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Gohar Abbas is an award-winning journalist who has worked for the national and international media for over the past ten years. He currently studies broadcast journalism at the New York Film Academy.


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