Impact of COVID-19 on Vulnerable Groups: A Need for Mental Health Facilities


  • Ruqia Safdar Bajwa



The latest challenge for the universe is Novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019). Although it is not new for the entire medical world this recent outbreak is new in humans. It started in Wuhan, China through animal to human spread but later on it was evidenced as human to human spread. On January 30, WHO declared Public health emergency around the world but did not impose trade and travel restrictions. Following China, On 19 February Iran spoke about 2 deaths due to COVID-19. Pakistan shares its border with China and Iran and has trade and travel relations with both countries. So this virus was imported through travelers and 1st case was reported on 26 February in Pakistan (Health, 2020). Until today number of cases has been outstretched up to 28,736 while 636 deaths were reported (Worldometer, 2020). All these current scenarios, call for attention to the impact of this pandemic on mental health. When large numbers of people get sick or die as a result of epidemics or pandemics, it leads to greater risks for psychosocial problems. History reminds us that SARS was the 1st hard hit of the 21st Century and researchers reported the huge psychosocial impact of SARS upon people (Sim & Chua, 2004). A study by Nickell and colleagues elaborated on this impact and contributed towards the knowledge by carrying out the study in a Canada based teaching hospital during 2003 when the outbreak was at the peak. Emotional distress, psychiatric comorbidity, huge concerns for personal and family health were reported by the participants (Nickell et al., 2004). The substantial rise in anxiety is associated with deaths, news and quarantine (Lima et al., 2020).