Government Policy Choices: COVID-19


The world has shaken unpredictable global health crises, namely the COVID-19 pandemic of the twenty-first century. Originating from the China city of Wuhan, spill overall   the continents except Antarctica. The pandemic threats human security and existing global health governance system .To cope the crisis every state of the world primarily taken the some precautionary measures, imposing a curfew, shutting factories, educational institutions, public gatherings and practicing social distancing. The intensity of pandemic increased suddenly even developed countries vulnerable in front of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Pakistan also affected COVID-19 badly with thousands of active cases in a country. Due to a fragile health system, the government of Pakistan took some extraordinary steps to mitigate the intensity of pandemic by establishing national command and operation center for effective co-ordination between federal and provincial governments. 

Prior to this government also establish a national coordination committee an apex body of decision making in which military leadership also included to formulate a comprehensive strategy to deal with the crisis.  Moreover, the government facing many obstacles to tackle the crisis, two front challenges return of Pakistani stranded in different countries, largely from Middle East and gulf regions. The government initiated special flights to bring back Pakistani nationals. On the domestic front   primarily economic, and societal factor is significant. The government draws policy choices, firstly review the health strategy, which is a provincial subject after the 18th Amendment, a constraint to implementation of national health policy in a health crisis situation due to different parties’ government in provinces. The provincial government’s response according to their circumstances and health facilities available to them. Meanwhile, a federal authority the  national disaster management authority superintend to  provide protective medical surgical  equipment’s to doctors and medical staff a front line warrior of the pandemic. 

The human security at the stake in pandemic specifically less develop countries or weak economic states. Pakistan where ratio of unemployment and poverty high crisis may be more worsen because of structural and financial imbalance of economy. However in order to ensure there is no chaos in society and take some initiative to help poverty  stricken people, starting Ehsaas emergency cash disturbed, 12 thousand rupees among 12 million people allocating a budget of  144 billion rupees according to official data.  Furthermore, advisor of economic affairs Hafeez Sheikh on daily briefings said government decided to allocate the 200 billion rupee for those people who lost jobs in pandemic situation which consider sought of relief for public.

Subsequently, the aforementioned scenario government formulates a multidimensional strategy to reduce the financial possible risk after COVID-19. A multi-layer policy options of different ministries, a strong one-line agenda policy between trade, commerce, economic, and food security departments.  The interrelated ministries deal with economic policies of the country to stabilize the economic affairs and how to protect the state interest in globalized world where international financial markets shuddering. Protection of local investors and businessman are also salient factor.  In this regard, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a relief package of the construction industry for the revival of the industry. As compared to other countries a policy difference among stakeholders of the complete lockdown of the country, the federal government believes the smart lockdown, to the revival of economic activities because it is impossible to bear the long-term burden. Hence the policy of complete or forced lockdown was quite arduous because of deep division within society, political or religious especially ahead of Ramzan where mostly cleric demand opening of mosques for congregational Namaz and Tarawahi.

In addition to that, a strong need for effective diplomacy with the United Nations, International financial institutions, and friendly countries to draw a future mechanism of post-COVID-19. Unfortunately, the United Nations’ role was noiseless in an emergency situation, two poles of power America and China aggressively attack each other polices. In that framework, Pakistan assesses its position and to act intelligently. Along with, Pakistan gets relief from the G20 group and included a group of 76 states for the debt relief program of the World Bank that’s considered major relief of repaying payments. 

The government takes necessary steps under the advisory of the World Health Organization (WHO), doctors, and medical professionals when easing the restrictions on daily affairs activities in near future, a smart lockdown approach because it is hard for government to stop people in their houses for months but if the ratio of cases high public health system cannot afford the burden eventually health system collapse and people lives in dangers. 

Wajih Ullah
Wajih Ullah
Student of M.Phil International Relations at Bahria University, Islamabad, and a freelance writer with a keen interest in Current Affairs, Politics of Pakistan and Foreign policy of Pakistan.


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