Download now: These Pakistani apps will make your life just a little easier

In this undated file photo, a Pakistani shopkeeper of mobile phones is trying to assist his customer. (AFP)
Updated 29 June 2019

Download now: These Pakistani apps will make your life just a little easier

  • Gharpar allows you to order salon services right to your home
  • Pakistan Citizens’ Portal makes key government ministries accessible to the public

ISLAMABAD: There are over 130 million cellphone users in Pakistan of which roughly 30 percent are operating smartphones. Here are some of the applications for your phone that are relevant to Pakistan and cover new ways to engage in transportation, self-love, charity and dialogue with the government.
Airlift
Bus services are not new in Pakistan but travel options within one’s own city have usually been lacking in terms of efficiency and bang for one’s bucks. Airlift aims to change all that, however. The all-in-one application touts itself as an alternative to Careem, Uber and public transportation. With fixed routes, fixed prices, and fixed timings, Airlift is taking the guess work out of one’s ride to work, university or wherever you may want to be while also keeping surge prices (like those on other ride share apps) at bay.
Airlift is available on Android phones.
Gharpar
Gharpar is bringing the reliance of your favorite salon to the absolute effortless of simply opening your front door. Gharpar is leading the change of comfort in your own home by having salon service providers, anywhere from women equipped to blow-dry to nail technicians to masseuses, booked to come over from the simplicity of an app. Gharpar has also been applauded for the way it has revolutionized self-employment for women in particular, freeing them from lower wages and cuts of traditional salon work.
Gharpar is available on Android and Apple phones.
Rizq
Sustainability, food waste and charity are wrapped into one app with Rizq. Their tagline is “Hunger Free Pakistan,” and that is exactly what Rizq sets out to do. When a wedding or corporate event, or even a family lunch has a lot of food left over, if one does not have a place to send it to, Rizq will come over, package it up and redistribute it among the hungry. Inspired by those that give away food during Ramadan, Rizq is making daily food help a reality with most of the thinking to get it done removed.
Rizq is available on Android and Apple phones.

Farm to Home
Farm to Home is an app that quite literally brings the farm to your home. Designed to eliminate the (many) middle men between farmers and their consumers, Farm to Home works with a number of farms in the Islamabad and Rawalpindi area to curate fresh seasonal produce at competitive prices and to deliver those delicious crops to your front door!
Farm to Home is available on Android.
Pakistan Citizens’ Portal
Last year, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf were voted into power and aimed to bring channels to hear out the citizens of Pakistan, and they did not disappoint. Launched merely weeks after taking office, Pakistan Citizens’ Portal is an app which allows for anyone with a national identity card or valid ID numbers to register and have palm to direct access to a number of ministries where they can lodge complaints or ask questions. The app also helps with information on where to get necessary forms, what offices and ministries are responsible for what avenues and much more.
Pakistan Citizens Portal is available on Android and Apple phones.


Pakistan Medical Association, doctors fear coronavirus surge as lockdowns lifted nationwide

Updated 09 August 2020

Pakistan Medical Association, doctors fear coronavirus surge as lockdowns lifted nationwide

  • Islamabad’s PIMS hospital had less than 10 coronavirus patients before Eid Al-Adha but new patients coming in since
  • Pakistan announced on Thursday it was opening virtually all sectors closed down in March to stem the spread of COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and infectious disease experts on Thursday warned of a possible surge in coronavirus cases due to a premature lifting of restrictions, as the government announced a day earlier that it was opening virtually all sectors closed down in March to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Pakistan shut schools and land borders nearly five months ago, decided to limit domestic and international flights and discouraged large gatherings to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus. But with infections and deaths down nearly 80 percent since their peak as per government records, the government decided on Thursday to lift the lockdowns to help the country return to normalcy.
Pakistan celebrated the Eid Al-Adha religious holiday last week. After the last major Islamic festival, of Eid Al-Fitr, in May, infections rose to their peak in Pakistan.
Dr. Nasim Akhtar, head of infectious diseases at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad, told Arab News the coronavirus ward at her hospital only had five to six patients before Eid, but new patients had once again started coming in.
“Cases registered a sharp increase after Eid Al-Fitr, and this can happen now again with the lifting of the lockdowns,” she said, adding that the government should have waited at least two more weeks to reopen restaurants and other public places.
“This is a bit early, and may worsen the situation again,” Akhtar said.
The World Health Organization has said “extreme vigilance” was needed as countries begin to exit from lockdowns, amid global concerns about a second wave of infections.
Germany earlier reported an acceleration in new coronavirus infections after it took early steps to ease its lockdown. South Korea, another country that had succeeded in limiting virus infections, saw a new outbreak.
“The next week is crucial to see if the infections soar as just one week has passed now since the Eid holidays,” Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, secretary-general of the Pakistan Medical Association, told Arab News.

 

 

Cases could also surge during the Islamic month of Muharram, which begins in late August, he said, and due to independence day celebrations on August 14. Huge crowds come out all over the world, including in Muslim-majority Pakistan, to commemorate the slaying of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
“We think that the opening of all these things in a hurry ... probably this will create problems for us,” Sajjad said.
He said infections had risen sharply in the United States and Brazil after the nations lifted restrictions when cases initially declined. Spain reported 1,772 new coronavirus infections on Aug 6, marking the biggest jump since a national lockdown was lifted in June.
University of Health Sciences vice chancellor Javed Akram, however, called the reopening of public places a “wise decision.”
“The government cannot keep the cities and businesses under lockdown forever,” he said. “People should follow health guidelines to fight the virus.”