Pakistan has observed a strict and smart lockdown in the past few months in response to the evolving threat presented by the corona virus pandemic, which has so far claimed the lives of thousands. It has halted the Pakistani economy and demolished many running businesses resultingly. Amidst these dark times, people have gone through major financial set back and lost jobs consequently. Prime Minister Imran Khan was not in favor of strict lockdown at any point & said his government was going to reopen more industries, and businesses “to lessen the miseries of poor and daily wage earners”.
But due to the worsening condition of corona virus in the country, Pakistan went for strict lockdown that caused an economic meltdown. On 2 April, the Government of Pakistan announced that the Pakistani economy had lost Rs 2.5 trillion due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the corona virus spread through social contact, it was advised to the nation to keep safe social distance and take necessary precautions to curb the situation. Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the country could not afford an indefinite lockdown and the nation would have to learn to live with the pandemic.
For the last 15 days, the curve of pandemic in the region is flattening and the number of corona virus cases has decreased drastically. Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar had announced to the media briefing that cinemas, restaurants, tourist spots, wedding halls, public parks and schools would be opened subsequently. He followed this up with a warning in which he said that European countries observed a second wave as they opened their businesses again and corona virus cases spiked up abruptly.
Pakistan needs to follow primary precautionary measures in order to contain the virus and should not take it lightly. Furthermore, he stated that if needed, lockdown can be re-imposed inspecting the situation. SOP’s related to every sector have been issued and the government has said it will take the necessary steps to ensure people follow them.
Here is the list of re-opening spots & businesses that was issued by government lately;
“Restaurants and cafes, outdoor and indoor, will be allowed to open from the 10th of August and standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be finalized in next two to three days. Moreover, public parks, theatres, cinemas, amusement parks, arcades, expo centers and beauty parlors will also be allowed to open from Monday,” Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said at a media briefing after the NCC meeting.
If SOPs are taken appropriately during this tenure, only then we can combat the corona virus and eradicate it from Pakistan utterly. If not, people have to bear the consequences in terms of financial, physical health and economic development of Pakistan. However, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), a representative body of doctors, has expressed concern over the decision and said the government should have at least waited for the consequences of Eidul Azha to become more apparent.
This is what general secretary Qaiser Sajjad stated regarding the decision and speculations;
“It will take 10 days to know if the virus rapidly spread during Eidul Azha. There are some events such as 14th August on which once again people will start gathering. Moreover, Majalis will be held during Muharram due to which another spike can be observed,”.
Undoubtedly, our healthcare care sector had sacrificed a lot and put their lives at stakes to save corona virus patients. They are concerned regarding the situation and this decision in particular as it can initiate the second wave in Pakistan and can be worse than the previous.
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