| By Shahnawaz Rasheed Ramay |
Pakistan has a big youth bulge. Almost 60% of the population is at the precarious stage of starting the new stage in life. Whether it’s professional development or choosing a career, young people are always at the most risk of being affected by the political, social, and economic atmosphere of the country.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that no one thought an invisible flu-like illness would bring the world to a screeching halt. Hopes were high and most people like every turn of the year were looking forward to beginning it with success and achieving goals. Suddenly this mysterious illness has transformed how we view life. The old rules no longer apply and the young people of this world are perhaps the best suited to adapting to it successfully.
Pakistan is no stranger to the virus. After an initial few cases, a lockdown was immediately imposed. This left a huge section of underprivileged people exposed because their source of income was compromised. More so, hospitals are overwhelmed with not only a lack of proper life-saving machinery like ventilators but also staff and personnel. Owing to the nature of the virus and how it spreads, it is nothing short of the highest level of courage and determination that the doctors of this country are exhibiting at the moment to make sure the curve stays flat. But in order to help and assist our medical professionals, a team of young volunteers has turned to the aid of technology to lessen the gap and strike while the metal is hot. Pakistan Against COVID19-Volunteers, is using 3D printing to develop valve splitters for hospitals to help accommodate multiple patients on a single ventilator. These splitters are being mass-produced and have already been tested by the Air Force and are soon going to be deployed. They are also using 3D printing technology to create other PPE materials such as face shields and other necessary and important equipment needed by the doctors who are working on the front lines.
A Pakistan origin software engineer has developed a coronavirus dashboard that gives regular updates to viewers. It not only shows the overall cases around the world but also gives a breakdown region wise. It also splits the information into further detail that is easy to access and gives a lot of insight at first glance. The application also has news items, videos, and other informational material that helps show credible information. Scientists Against COVID-19 Pakistan is a 3000 plus network of scientist, doctors, and engineers from all over the country who are working tirelessly to help the government keep fact checks on the false information floating around the internet, provide volunteer assistance in emergency makeshift coronavirus hospitals and also the local government in making sure the financial and social aid is provided to the right people. A student at GIKI has also developed an app that can be used by the poor and needy to help pinpoint their location for immediate aid and assistance.
Although the country is stricken with a lockdown that has left thousands of people vulnerable, the young people of Pakistan are hopeful things will turn around soon. With their ingenuity, wit and perseverance the tide against COVID 19 will soon be in our favor.