Sindh plans to induct volunteers to fight coronavirus

Published March 18, 2020
The government appeals to people from all walks of life to “join hands to fight against emergencies.” — AP/File
The government appeals to people from all walks of life to “join hands to fight against emergencies.” — AP/File

KARACHI: Amid growing number of coronavirus cases in Sindh, the provincial government has called for induction of volunteers who could help authorities in its campaign for containing the pandemic that had already affected more than 150 people in the province.

The government appealed to the people from all walks of life to “join hands to fight against emergencies,” a senior official said on Tuesday.

The plan to induct volunteers came from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Sindh after the official of the organisation held a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali to brief him about the efforts so far and future line of action where the two sides agreed that amid the fears of more positive cases, the number of people handling the patients and those contributing to contain the virus spread could fall short.

“So in this situation, there is a need of number of people who can help out the government,” said an official while citing details of the meeting. “We are so fortunate to live in a part of the world where the people volunteer themselves for any such situation. This time too we have observed closely that the youngsters are so keen to extend their helping hand. So [to] make this effort organised, we are inducting volunteers from tomorrow [Wednesday] announcing the mechanism through mainstream media and our social media platforms.”

He said the Sindh CM had been active and personally monitoring the situation and issued directives for volunteers to be part of his team working across the province in different areas. The volunteers, he said, would be asked to offer help considering his or her area of interest and expertise with more focus on those who had background of health education and medical practices.

“The meeting with the Sindh CM agreed that the natural calamities and emergencies demand a planned, swift and coordinated response at all levels of society. With collective response, nations stand up in difficult times,” he added.

For this purpose, he said, a volunteer system had already been developed at the PDMA and once details were finalised, interested people would be asked to get themselves registered through the authority’s website http://www.pdma.gos.pk.

“Once the data is established through the registration forms, we would call the individuals and assign them jobs considering the requirements and their expertise. It’s high time for every Pakistani to contribute and play his or her role. We are facing the challenge which the world has never experienced and it can only be met with unity,” he added.

He said the PDMA, meanwhile, had already dispatched essential items to Sukkur including folding beds, pillows, blankets and other necessary items for the establishment of quarantine facilities. Dispatch of essential items to other important districts was also in process, he added.

Implementation of the government-issued health advisory was mandatory for everyone, including those belonging to industrial area and the authority was making sure to help people following those guidelines mainly in the most affected districts, said the official.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2020

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