Dengue and Punjab

I CONGRATULATE the Punjab government for showing good performance in controlling dengue epidemic. In comparison to the last year, dengue fever cases this year are considerably low in Punjab. Undoubtedly, such things are beyond the control of humans, but the kind of measures taken by the Punjab government did play a vital role in bringing statistics down to a minimum.

However, how society’s other components responded towards this disaster is worth lamenting. A relative of mine who works in the local government often criticised the chief minister for not allowing him and his colleagues to take rest even at night as he made them fumigate anti - dengue insecticide in every street and town.

The Lahore city was full of awareness - raising banners and graffiti against the spread of dengue. I also appreciate the fact that this year a chapter concerning dengue virus has been included in Punjab textbooks.

However, a party in the centre called Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif ‘Dengue brothers’, knowing well the fact that dengue mosquitoes were not the outcome of their policies. It was a natural catastrophe where the nation needed to stand in unison to fight against it.

Moreover, institutions and organisations are supposed to work for the betterment of citizens. However, it was seen this year that quite a lot of dengue - killing products were launched in the market with increased prices.

Yes, demand and supply is the fundamental principle of economics: the more the demand, the more the supply. But in our case it was: the more the demand, the more the supply with increased prices.

Were companies not happy with the increased sale of their products? With high prices, the demand automatically went down. I am sure that this unexpectedly less demand of mosquito repellents must have adversely affected their business.

The Punjab government’s act of spreading awareness among the people using the media is an excellent example to see how consciousness raising can be achieved.

May God save us from all kinds of natural tragedies and give us the wisdom to act as a united nation.

S. FARHAN BASIT Mirpur Mathelo


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