Pakistan has emerged as one of the countries with the fastest rate of coronavirus infections in recent weeks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO told Pakistan that a strict two-week lockdown across the country could control the spread of the virus. Even though, Pakistan does not have the same mortality rate as that of European countries but the rising cases of corona virus in Pakistan is indeed alarming. Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan was never in the favor of complete strict lockdown keeping in view the plight of daily wagers and poverty-stricken lot.
Pakistan’s health care system has been crumbling under the pressure of a surge in cases as the government lifted most restrictions on public gatherings and businesses last month. Imran Khan imposed a smart lockdown across the country and in the worst hit areas as a means to curb the radical spread of coronavirus. Sealing all the most affected areas in order to lower the number of cases in the region and imposing directives to make general public follow the required SOPs, are some of the major steps for smart lockdown and we reckon it’s working. Furthermore, Imran Khan stated that the only way to contain this novel virus is to take precautionary measures as it’s not evident when it’s going to end.
A strategy has been introduced namely Testing, tracing & quarantining TTQ is aimed at identifying disease spread, focused clusters/hotspots to enable targeted lockdowns. The TTQ strategy has been formulated to keep the spread of the disease at a minimum although our key criticism is the governments constant mixed messages that have confused the populace about exactly what the government has planned with respect to finally easing restrictions. The TTQ strategy involves testing, rapidly tracing the contacts of confirmed positive cases, and effective quarantining of positive and suspected cases.
Some major restrictions:
- In Punjab over 7 cities are under smart lockdown including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Sialkot, and Gujarat. Police would be deployed at “the entry and exit points of the areas to be placed under restrictions.
- Hot spots for corona virus are identified and their grocery stories, pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals have been specified & no gatherings are allowed in such areas.
- Provincial government has been given authority to stop activities that are life threatening and act accordingly.
- Movements by local residents of the sealed areas would be restricted and anyone entering or leaving the area have to wear masks.
- Home delivery and take away of any kind from restaurants and fast food joints are banned.
- Following the SOPs, only one person from the family would be allowed to go out at a time for food and medicines along with CNIC.
Motorbike trips are not allowed and public transport including buses, taxis, auto rickshaws & Uber.
People have to follow these directives under smart lockdown and cooperate with the federal government to stop the rapid spread of Corona virus that has thus far claimed the lives of thousands till now. This two-week lockdown is proving to be beneficial as the rate of increase of cases in sealed areas is decreasing. We hope that people would fight this virus together and come out of this as a strong & faithful nation!