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The world besieged.

Byline: M FAZAL ELAHI

Nervewracking indeed! The virulent Corona virus 'COVID-19' disease is affecting over 162 countries and territories around the world, and 1 international conveyance (the Diamond Princess cruise ship harbored in Yokohama, Japan).

It wouldn't be inappropriate to say that the perilous CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC has sent shiver down the spines of millions of people across the globe. People are getting affected by the day. People are dying every day. Those at the helm of governance in countries across the world, including Pakistan, are relentlessly engaged 24/7 to not only tighten its grip over this deadly disease but also find effective ways and means to completely eradicate it.

What does COVID-19 mean? COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by a new corona virus. The disease was discovered in China in December 2019 and has since spread around the world.

The pace at which this deadly disease is spreading and taking its toll on human lives across the globe leaves the world community totally perplexed to understand how to grapple with this gruesome menace. According to the latest figures, 425,711 people were confirmed as having the corona virus across the world by Thursday morning. Roughly 18,952 people up to then had lost their valuable lives to this ghastly disease. The number of people who have recovered so far stands at 109,225. The number of active cases worldwide stands at 294,755. Reported serious and critical cases are 13,130. However, a fact that cannot be overlooked is that while China was initially the worst affected country of the world, the recovery rate there is indeed very encouraging.

Parallel to the relentless worldly endeavors that we continue to make to fight this nerve-wracking virus COVID-19, let us all, as stated above, raise our hands in prayers and bow our heads in reverence before the Almighty and sincerely seek His forgiveness for all our wrongdoings

According to those figures, among some of the badly affected affluent countries of the world China ranks at number one with the number of affected people standing at 81,218, followed by Italy 69,176, the USA 54,823, Spain 42,058, Germany 32,991, Iran 24,811, France 22,304, Switzerland 9877, South Korea 9137, UK 8077, Netherlands 5560, Austria 5283 and Belgium 5269. Predictably, in terms of deaths that have occurred so far among the countries cited above, due to COVID-19, Italy has suffered the most fatalities with 6820 dead, while China, initially the leader is now second, with 3,281 fatalities followed by Spain 2991, Iran 1934, France 1100, USA 778, UK 442,. Pakistan too has been affected, though not seriously, by the deadly corona virus pandemic. According to the latest update the number of people affected by the disease in Pakistan stands at 183.

No matter whatever the above statistics depict, one is compelled to acknowledge that the gruesome corona virus pandemic has engulfed the entire world with varying intensity. The unparalleled magnitude with which this disease has struck communities across the world is compelling all, the affluent and the poor alike, to realize that mankind is extremely vulnerable to natural calamities, and that the only superpower who can provide relief from such calamities is none but the Almighty.

In this era of phenomenal scientific advancement, people, particularly those belonging to the affluent societies of the world, may consider my belief a little too orthodox to appreciate. Some may also find it amusing. But as an enlightened Muslim my conviction of the supremacy of Allah Almighty stands unshakable. He is the most beneficent and the most merciful.

Regardless of our caste, creed or religion we all belong to Allah Almighty and to Him we will return. He is the only power, rather the superpower, which has a hold over our destiny, and it is only He who can provide relief to mankind from all sorts of calamities. Undeniably, we, the creation of God Almighty, have done and continue to blatantly do all that we could to annoy Him and invite His wrath. We, the human beings, have crossed all bounds of graciousness and brazenly defied all His commandments. We have challenged his patience endlessly and all we have got in return is the agony of the corona virus.

Unambiguously, the magnitude of the crisis that confronts the world today is gargantuan. This crisis cannot be effectively resolved unless collective endeavors are made to address it. Time has come for the world to stand united against the deadly corona virus. The affluent countries of the world must come forward and extend every possible support, technical and monetary, to the less privileged nations of the world to come to grips with this life-threatening disease with unwavering fortitude and endurance. Failure to do so, may, God forbid, make the world confront a catastrophe of unfathomable magnitude.

It is a passionate appeal to the world community that, parallel to the relentless worldly endeavors that we continue to make to fight this nerve-wracking virus COVID-19, let us all, as stated above, raise our hands in prayers and bow our heads in reverence before the Almighty and sincerely seek His forgiveness for all our wrongdoings.

Beg Him to pardon all our sins, bestow His benevolence on us, and provide relief to us from the lethal Corona virus. He will certainly listen to the suffering mankind for whom He has unparalleled love. However, once He does let us all vow to ourselves that we will all abide by all His commandments in letter and spirit; sincerely respect each other's existence and rights, bring an end to the conflicts we continue to wage against each other, across the world, and endeavor to make this world a bastion of peace.
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Author:M FAZAL ELAHI
Publication:Pakistan Today (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Mar 26, 2020
Words:1011
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