Zafar Sarfaraz with teammates during his playing days.
Amjad Aziz Malik, Secretary-General, AIPS Asia
Peshawar: Like elsewhere in the world, the Coronavirus pandemic is spreading in Pakistan too. The number of positive cases are on the rise so also the casualty rate.
According to official figures, till date 160,000 suspected patients were tested out of which 42,125 have been recorded positive while the deaths have reached to 903. This trend is expected to move up with each passing day.
The first Coronavirus affected case was reported in Pakistan on February 26 and since then stringent measures are under way to protect the citizens from its disastrous effects. It seems that limited resource mobilization capacity has been causing to worsen the situation instead of bringing improvement. There seem much stronger initiatives on part of the government to taking all segments of society into confidence, and indeed it is the collective wisdom which may deliver to overcoming the dangerous virus.
Although the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, firstly opposed complete lock down of the Sindh province but when the deaths touched the figure 26, he conceded to the measures taken by the provincial government and became its supporter. Certain circles in the society are of the view that being the developing country, there exists every possibility that the virus would continue spreading and ultimately, the death toll will also be in increasing trend.
In a nut shell, the Coronavirus is affecting a cross-section of the society. The economic development is also hit badly.
In wake of such critical circumstances, the death of the first class cricketer, Zafar Sarfaraz, has saddened every citizen of this historic city, the members of Peshawar Cricket Club in particular. He started with Peshawar Cricket and then represented the District Cricket Association of Peshawar. Lastly he played 15 first class cricket matches besides having competed innumerable cricket matches at the local level.
He was the elder brother of Pakistan’s International Cricket player, Akhtar Sarfaraz, who had succumbed to cancer a few months back. Thus Zafar Sarfaraz had been rearing two families. At the time of death, Zafar Sarfaraz was posted at the University Branch of the National Bank of Pakistan and most probably he would have contracted the virus while performing his professional duties.
After having been diagnosed with the fatal pandemic virus, he was shifted to hospital where he lost his life after remaining six days on ventilator.
He is the first player in the country who has succumbed to Coronavirus. Although tremendous efforts are underway to overcome the virus but indeed there exists strong possibility that the disease may continue to spread since, the country hosts vast population of 220 million against meagre resources at its disposal.