Advisory was posted on 11 April 2020 & has not been updated since.
1. Corona is a respiratory illness. Do not leave home without covering your face with mask. The pharmacies that are specifically created to cater to a hospital are more likely to carry masks than ordinary pharmacies in market places. You can also use your sewing machine to make a mask with hundred percent cotton lined with the material plastic replacement shopping bags are made of. These are reusable masks, just continue to wash them. Innovative thinking, creating what you need with your own hands, and using the same is the way to go to fight this health emergency.
2. Eat foods rich in vitamin C. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Keep yourself hydrated with plenty of clean drinking water. Make Achar (pickle) at home. Achar mix recipe makes use of calonji seeds, which, our prophet Muhammad (PBUH)tells us, are good for fighting disease of all kinds. You can make Achar with practically any vegetable and most fruits. Follow mixed Achar recipes and if you do not have one, turn to the oldest female member of your family for guidance. Traditionally, Achar used to be staple in South Asian households. Elderly ladies in most South Asian households carry recipes. You can also seek Achar making recipes on the internet. Achar is a handy food during disasters and lock-downs, times during which there may be shortages of regular food supplies in the market or shortage of individually owned funds to buy fresh supplies with regularly. Do not eat Achar by itself. Eat achar with whole wheat chapati or with rice. Achar with whole wheat bread is healthy food to eat. Achar needs no refrigeration and can be preserved for a long time.
3. Exercise is necessary. Set aside periodic exercise time at home. Use your room, your yard or your rooftop for exercising. Follow yoga exercises uploaded on the Internet. It would help citizens if governments mandated TV channels to telecast exercises which can be done to keep limbs healthy while staying indoors.
4. Use your sewing machines to make personal protective equipment for yourself.Government is requested to guide citizens in the usage of right kind of materials and to ensure their availability in the market. Professionally made PPE is for healthcare professionals, who deal with the sick from morning to evening. Ordinary citizens can innovate and make their own PPE for use during short errands or work.
5. All shop keepers in market places are advised to tie a ribbon across a space in front of them that will keep buyers at a distance of two meters from sellers. (What we call feeta in Urdu, used to pack goods with, is good enough for the purpose) All shop keepers are advised to interact with consumers from a distance. It is necessary for your health and well being. Tying a rope in front will ensures this. use basket hung from a rod to deliver goods to customers and to receive money from them. We can not afford industry made barriers. we must innovate for safety’s sake.
6. Keep all drains properly flowing in your households and in market places. Keep a drain opener handy. Clogged and over flowing drains are highly dangerous during Covid-19 outbreak. Take special care in getting rid of objects that can clog drains.
7. For those who can not order online, it is better if consumers know telephone numbers of shops in their neighborhoods and instead of going to those shops, call for home delivery of items they require. Bills for the same items can be texted by the shop and approved via text by the buyer in advance, before delivery takes place. (For those who don’t deal in credit cards). Neighborhood shops and residents are personally acquainted with each other. Enhance this with added cooperation and trust. This practice will ensure job losses do not take place, services to people do not come to a halt and market mechanism does not break down during lock downs and home stays. Ward off cyber crime. All transactions, including cell phone and internet service bills that can not be paid online can be paid through creating door to door service by companies. One company employee equipped with proper Personal Protection Equipment can service five hundred to a thousand households in this manner. This will ensure continuation of jobs and services both. The money companies invest in running an office during business hours can be diverted to this activity.
WE NEED TWO THINGS TO SURVIVE THIS CALAMITY. 1. BECOME SELF SUFFICIENT AT INDIVIDUAL LEVEL TO EQUIP OURSELVES WITH PROTECTION THAT IS NEEDED. 2. AT SOCIETY LEVEL, REDESIGN THE WAY WE CONDUCT BUSINESS. THERE IS NO LIMIT TO INNOVATION. IF OUR GOVERNMENT REGULATES MATTERS PROPERLY, ORGANIZATIONS LIKE OURS ARE THERE TO HELP ENSURE OUR ECONOMY AND SOCIETY SURVIVE COVID-19. GOVERNMENT OFFICERS SHOULD CONDUCT REGULAR INTERNET CONFERENCES WITH ORGANIZATIONS REGISTERED TO WORK IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN PAKISTAN TO SOLICIT SOLUTIONS. STATE IS REQUESTED TO RELAX EAD REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT AND MAKE IT FAST TRACK, INCLUDE WAIVERS, AND ENABLE ALL NON-GOVERNMENTAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATIONS TO WORK WITH GOP AS A COORDINATED GROUP, WORK EXTRA HOURS AND HELP PAKISTAN IN THIS HOUR OF NEED. THIS IS THE TIME FOR STATE TO MOBILIZE ALL NON GOVERNMENTAL DM AND DRR ORGANIZATIONS IN PAKISTAN AND WORK HAND IN HAND WITH THEM.