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Humiliation in the name of vaccination and certification

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Since the first surge of the Covid-19 engulfed Pakistan, at the dawn of 2019, the nation has been continuously undergoing a series of ups and downs in regard to the endemic-related decisions and responses of the government and the state departments and institutions. Whether it was the matter of imposing lockdowns or proceeding on related legislation and law-amendments or handling the affairs related to the vaccination and certification of the folks, the government kept on creating hurdles in the already thorn-ridden path of the people’s lives.
The most recent saga, in this connection, is the coercive degradation of the poor and hapless bipeds in the name of vaccination and certification. In the first phase, the government hastily and absurdly announced deadlines for the people for getting vaccinated and imposed multiple socio-economic restrictions on the non-vaccinated people who had to suffer from pillar to post,due to unavailability of the vaccine at the state-managed vaccination points and centres, to comply with the government orders. As the crisis and panic like situation worsened further, it resulted in the people’s getting wounded and humiliated during batten charging exercised by the security forces at the venues. It seems that the current regime is a total failure and expects that the masses will manage everything on behalf of the government because the concerning institutions as well as the organisations are still not ready to learn any lesson.
The next phase, the enforced certification stage, is dragging the masses further in the quagmire of utter distress and disgrace at the hands of the concerning doctors and officials of the health organisations, NADRA, and, above all, the highly incompetent policymakers and advisors of the government. As the government has forced the private organisations and businesses to link the job security of the employees with the provision of the vaccination certificate issued by the NADRA, the millions of the people are undergoing sheer frustration and depression because, despite being vaccinated after going through a series of unnecessarily tough procedures and wasting their hard earned money, they are not being provided with the vaccination certificates due to criminal negligence of the state departments. In the city of Karachi only, thousands of the individuals who have been vaccinated by the prescribed centres, do not have their entry or record updated by the concerning officials. In certain cases, only one dose is updated and the second dose bar is empty. Now, if these masses are vaccinated again, the over dosage will definitely play havoc with their health and lives, and if not, they will not be able to get certificates and claim the legal right to continue their jobs.
After receiving so many similar complaints amongst the circle of friends and family, I personally visited the JPMC Vaccination Centre with a friend who is a senior Bank Officer and was facing the same issues. The first observation was that there were total 5-6 counters out of which only three were working and the rest of them were unattended and this very fact brought forth unnecessarily long queues of the people. When I talked to the Concerning Female Doctor/in-charge regarding unavailability of the data of vaccinated people, she said, “It is not our duty to enter or add data of each and every person. You must be thankful to us for providing you vaccination without charges. We have nothing to do with the procedures of the certificate or its requirement for jobs.” When I asked her name and requested her to give me the statement in writing, she immediately called “uniformed” security to deal with me and that is exactly how Pakistani day-to-day affairs are conducted or critical questions are answered these days.
As we came back regretfully, I opened the websites of the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) and Jinnah Hospital Karachi, and wrote detailed e mails to their controlling authorities using the given addresses. Unfortunately, after the laps of three weeks, nobody has even bothered to acknowledged the mails yet from either of the concerning organisations. I also tried the telephone numbers prescribed on the websites, but unfortunately they, too, were either nonfunctional or not-responded.
Factually speaking, it is highly absurd and illogical not to accept or declare the vaccination card, provided by the vaccination centre staff, as the legal or official certificate for the socio-economic and medical implications. If the medical crew sitting and conducting vaccination exercise in a state-owned big hospital is not reliable to certify a person as vaccinated, how can an employee of the NADRA, who has nothing to with any medical or health rationale and is not even an eyewitness of the vaccination procedure, can be trustworthy to issue a certificate, in this regard? The answer lies in the matter of receiving Rs. 100 as revenue collection from the citizens. But, to achieve these objectives, the state has exploited its own citizens to an extent where they (the poor masses) are bound to pay 500 to 1000 rupees on transportation and private computer composing centres and photocopy shops to process and obtain their vaccination certificates. Facing disgrace in the queues at various offices and the wastage of their precious time are other big issues, in this connection.
Same is the case with our higher education controlling authorities, institutions and examination and controlling boards and bodies that have been pushing the students as well as their parents to the quicksand of utter mental and financial torture by imposing immeasurably illogical, irrational and incongruous documentations and technical procedures. When you ask about the reasoning behind these socio-psychological ferocities, the only answer is that certain evil practices are introduced to collect revenue for the universities or bodies. For the rulers, it is a matter of just one bank challan form of a few hundreds or thousands rupees, but it has sacrificedmany students’ professional future and mental peace at the altar of complicated technicalities.
In my so many articles, I have repeatedly mentioned that it is the slavish mentality of our culture and the brutal and cruel inheritance of the colonialism that our politicians and all types of state officials have been cherishing like a holy cenotaph, according to which the masses are considered animals received as a booty after a battle. Even, it would not be an act of exaggeration to assert that our own masters are far harsher than our colonial lords in dealing with the masses.