A Chinese Geographer once remarked that those who aren’t concerned about issues in faraway lands will soon have issues closer to them to tackle.
In the SAARC region, India with around 20,000 Covid-19 cases has the highest number of cases. This is followed by Pakistan with about 9,000 cases. Bhutan with 6 positive cases has the least number in the region.
Let’s take a look at major developments relating the pandemic in India’s neighbourhood:
1. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan may be asked to get tested for COVID-19 or asked to go into self-isolation. This development came after he met Faisal Edhi, the son of Abdul Edhi who was a philanthropist. Faisal has tested positive for the virus.
2. The Pakistan Prime Minister also caved into pressure from various Islamic groups and has now permitted the mosques to remain open, but has restricted large gatherings.
3. Sri Lanka which had planned to lift the lockdown to revive the economy has now extended the lockdown till April 27. This followed a sudden spike of 41 cases in a single day.
4. The Sri Lankan government has also postponed its Parliamentary elections which was originally scheduled for April 25. The elections will now be held on June 20.
5. With about 3000 cases and 101 deaths, Bangladesh is being considered a risky area. They have suspended all congregational prayers and have enforced a strict form of lockdown.
6. Nepal with 31 cases till date has enforced a lockdown till April 27. The government has also sealed 14 mosques in Sunsari district. 421 inmates from India and Pakistan have been quarantined.
7. Afghanistan has over a thousand cases. The province of Herat which shares a border with Iran has the greatest number of cases. The Taliban with whom a peace deal was signed on February 29 has joined the efforts to tackle this virus.
8. Bhutan is the only nation in the neighbourhood to have not imposed any lockdown measures. The only measure that has been implemented is related to business entities who have been asked to shut down every day at 7 pm.
9. Maldives has enforced a two-week lockdown and has banned all forms of international travel. They have reported about 100 cases till date.