COVID19 AND IMMUNITY

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The world is under the grip of Covid-19 and countries are using their resources to contain the effects of virus to save the lives of their inhabitants. The only factor which is under consideration for the containment of the virus is observing the parameters of the social distancing due its contagious nature. In such efforts of maintaining the social distancing, the underlying cause of deaths due to Covid-19 i-e low immunity is not being given due consideration. The Covid-19 virus mostly causes complications to those people having low immunity. In our country the lockdown has been eased with a view to create herd immunity without knowing the statistics that 40% of population is living below the poverty line and lack access to nutritional diet to develop immunity. In order to develop the immunity following sectors need special attention from Federal and Provincial Governments. 

Pakistan is an agricultural country wherein major portion of inhabitants live in rural areas and are engaged with Agriculture and Livestock sectors for their livelihood. These two sectors are also the major sources to develop the immunity as green vegetables, meat and milk products are rich in nutrients which help in boosting the immunity. Sadly, in our country these two sectors have not been given due consideration by Federal Government as well as from Provincial Governments. Currently, Agriculture sector is facing locust attacks and if timely action will not been taken it will generate a severe food crisis within the country which will not only cause deaths due to hunger but also social disharmony. 

Covid-19 has also given major setback to Livestock sector as livestock farmers are not provided with any incentives to run their business in the lockdown. It is the major source to get milk, eggs and meat which are the basic ingredients for developing immunity.  

Social awareness about developing immunity is another factor which has also not being considered. Government is only focusing to generate awareness about social distancing and protective measures. It is also required that social awareness programs about healthy food may be aired on electronic media so that people may also know to boost the immunity.    

It is not denying the fact that keeping social distancing is the major requirement for the containment of virus but developing immunity in the inhabitants will further help the Government to get rid of this virus. To boost the immunity it is also need of hour that Federal and Provincial Governments should devise policies to help the farmers engaged with agriculture and livestock sectors. They should be provided seeds, feeds and other necessary equipments on subsidized rates. This will help them to increase the productivity from these sectors. Health departments may also provide nutritional supplements free of cost to poor segments of the society to help them to boost their immunity.  Government should open the parks for exercise purpose only as physical activities will also help in boosting the immunity. 

In short, for the containment of covid-19 multidimensional approach will be required which includes keeping social distancing, enhancing health facilities and boosting the immunity. Considering only one factor, will not help to fight against the virus. 

By: Dr. Asad Ishaque Kunbher

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