*Covid-19 globally affects every field of life: AJK president*

MUZAFFARABAD: The AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that coronavirus is not mere a pandemic but it is a global challenge of the current century which has raised gigantic medical and socio-economic problems.

Planning and coordinated efforts are direly needed to tackle these problems, and besides the public sector universities of Azad Kashmir, the higher educational institutions of the whole country would have to play a vital role in this regard, he added.

He was addressing a webinar organized by the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir on “Corona Pandemic and the Role of Universities”. The webinar was also addressed by Vice-Chancellor AJK University Prof. Dr. Kalim Abbasi, Prof Dr. Zabita Khan Shinwari of the Quaid-e-Azam University, Vice-Chancellor Central University Jammu (Occupied Kashmir) Prof. Ashok Aima, Director-General Public Health Azad Kashmir Dr. Sardar Aftab Husain, Dean University of Health and Medical Sciences Dr. Bashir-ur-Rehman Kanth, and Assistant Professor Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Dr. Mohammad Salim Abbasi.

In his address, the AJK president cautioned that the issues like fear, skepticism and distrust among the nations in relation to the spread of this virus as well as monopoly over its vaccine may lead us towards clash and war.

Appreciating the role of public sector universities of Azad Kashmir during the coronavirus, the AJK president said that these universities introduced online education and online examinations on emergency footings, and set a precedence of achieving better results. Now the universities should create awareness among the people side by side with finding a solution to the problems and conducting research on other diverse medical issues, he said adding that we would have focus attention on the national level to develop an anti-corona vaccine.

Sardar Masood Khan said that the strategy adopted by the AJK government helped a lot to prevent the large-scale spread of pandemics in the liberated territory. Effective lockdown, smart lockdown, and cooperation among the universities, students, administration, ulema, and the masses helped the government a lot to jointly cope the challenge, he added.

Touching upon the situation arose after sudden jump in the positive rate of coronavirus in recent days, the AJK president said that all segments of society would have to once again strictly adopt precautionary measures to prevent the most dangerous third wave.

Addressing the webinar, Vice-Chancellor AJK University Prof Dr. Kalim Abbasi said that it was a matter of pride and satisfaction for him that in the light of the idea presented by the state president Sardar Masood Khan, who is also the chancellor of the public sector university, his university had held this important conference to create awareness among the masses about the most crucial issue of coronavirus.

He said that the coronavirus had not only affectedly every aspect of human life but it is had also badly affected the studies of 1.6 billion students of 190 countries. However, online education had saved the precious time of the students and more than 45,000 students appeared in BA, B.Sc and MA, and M.Sc examinations with all precautionary measures, and not a single corona case had come to light.

Mr. Abbasi maintained that realizing its national responsibility, the administration of the University Azad Jammu and Kashmir established its first mask vaccination center in Azad Kashmir where teachers and students of the University of Health and Medical Sciences voluntarily offered their services and contributed to the war against corona. Similarly, the students and teachers of the biotechnology department of the university is providing PCR testing facilities on the campus.