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Thank you UAE, with love from Costa Rica

I want the opportunity of publishing an open letter to say thank you to the UAE humanitarian help they sent to my country on June 11, at midnight(“UAE supports a global humanitarian lifeline for nations most exposed to coronavirus”, Gulf News, May 04). This gesture means so much to our people and for all of us Costa Ricans who live here in the UAE.

The letter is as follows:

"My family and I have always felt blessed and thankful for the opportunity of living in the UAE. This adventure that we started almost 10 years ago so far from our beloved Costa Rica with 2 different flights and more than 18 hours of travel, has defined us, changed us. We were enriched with so many friends and experiences of different cultures along the way.

“Today we have one more extraordinary thing to be thankful for. The UAE has looked mercifully to our small and humble country. The generosity that has distinguished them in these difficult times from many other countries - UAE has sent a plane with humanitarian assistance on the way to our beloved Costa Rica on a direct flight for the first time in history.

“Thank you UAE, on behalf of all our citizens, elderly and young who will benefit from your generosity and kindness.”

From Ms Rita Amador de Moraga

Abu Dhabi

Pakistan: How to maintain social distancing in narrow market lanes?

We are watching people in the media frequently criticising public about not following standard operating procedures (SOPs) during these critical times of COVID 19 pandemic, while going out to markets and other public places (“COVID-19 virus situation in Pakistan worsens”, Gulf News, June 12). The people in the markets are either workers or customers. The workers must be in the markets because of their economic compulsions. Majority of our people are poor and have to work daily to make both ends meet. The other group of people who are seen in the majority in the markets are customers who need to buy necessary things to survive. I don’t think all these people who are out in the markets and other public places do not care for their lives and therefore are not following SOPs. I believe the main reason for not following SOPs by public going to market places are our narrow market roads. The majority of markets are situated in narrow lanes throughout the country, which makes it impossible to follow SOPs given the size of our country’s population. For example, how do you follow SOPs while going to each of the eight bazaars or markets of Ghanta Ghar, Faisalabad, where traffic is gushing, shops are small and customers aplenty? How do you follow SOPs when you go to Ichara market in Lahore or Raja Bazar in Rawalpindi? It is a very difficult situation. On the one hand, public health is important which means SOPs must be followed but on the other hand markets/offices need to open due to economic compulsion.

From Mr Ejaz Ahmad Magoon


The spectre of child labour in a global pandemic

June 12 was observed as ‘World Day against Child Labour’ and this year United Nations focus was on the impact of the global pandemic on child labour (“Kids affected by COVID-19 pandemic”, Gulf News, June 02). Now COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of millions of people globally, and it has affected people’s livelihoods and unfortunately, children have to suffer. Reports say that more than 152 million children are engaged in child labour globally and mostly around the war-torn areas. Conflicts and disasters displace thousands of children from their homes and they are left behind in poverty and forced to do child labour.

In developing countries, children are denied the right to education and are forced to work in factories and unhygienic places for hardly a meal or without any pay. Millions of children are denied their basic rights and are forced to work as slaves for years unnoticed in factories without any freedom. Let us hope that the United Nations with the help of other countries will work to protect such children.

From Mr Eappen Elias


COVID-19: No respect for doctors in Pakistan

I am a doctor here in Pakistan(“Pakistan’s health workers are against easing the COVID-19 lockdown”, Gulf News, May14). All over the world, doctors are being called heroes but not in Pakistan. I am a young doctor. Our government announced incentives and increased pay to our army, presidential house workers, electricity and water board workers, amidst the coronavirus lockdown. But, many of my fellows practitioners and I are working tirelessly in our hospitals and that too for free, not a single penny was given. The response of our government and people is worse towards the healthcare worker,s as if they have taken us for granted. Sitting in my ward we were discussing that Pakistan produces some of the world's top healthcare workers and doctors, and if we were in any other country right now the situation would have been different.

It’s the need of the hour for the world leaders to use their influence to save the rights of doctors and nurse,s especially in countries like Pakistan. The government should make sure all of us get paid just like the others and give us rights, and more importantly respect.

From Mr Musab Shah


Sad and worrying to see India racing up the COVID-19 ladder

A while ago I read that India was in the top 10 coronavirus-hit countries in the world and was concerned like everyone else for the teeming millions, who live below the poverty line (“India is the fifth worst-hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic”, Gulf News, June 09). Now to suddenly be at number four with the infections on the rise daily, is seriously alarming. What was with all the senseless drama of lighting candles, banging utensils, clapping hands and shouting ‘Go Corona Go’? While most of the world was already taking preventative measures, our beloved country was indulging in these trivial and rather laughable gimmicks.

People who had no water to drink were being advised to wash their hands as many times a day as possible. Ten to fifteen people living together in tiny rooms, in unhygienic slums, were being advised to maintain social distancing. Then there was the rather callous lockdown announcement by the government, with just a four-hour warning. It was a calamity waiting to happen.

Weeks later, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers began leaving the cities and walking back to their villages. There were no jobs, no money, and they were frustrated and terrified. No one advised them, helped them, or arranged any sort of transportation. So, as expected, we had men women and children attempting to walk thousands of kilometres many barefooted, braving the harsh weather, hunger, thirst and sickness along the way.

No one is mentioning as to how many died during those arduous journeys, how many women were probably molested or raped, how many children were lost or kidnapped and mind you, all that must surely have happened.

One silver lining amidst the squalor and the dark clouds were the good samaritans who handed out food and water.

It's about time politicians and bureaucrats stopped the blame game and their petty power squabbles and everyone who matters came together to fight this menace.

From Mr Michael Guzder


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