Withdrawing Lockdown Will Not Bode Well For Pakistan
Withdrawing the lockdown will not bode well for Pakistan as we do not have sufficient evidence to determine when coronavirus transmission will reach its peak in the country and how long it will take to flatten the curve.
The government couldn’t not in fact kept the country safe during lockdown , by any reasonable standard. So will exit from Withdrawing lockdown be better managed than entry?
Punjab Government withdrew the Withdrawing lockdown, allowing resumption of “pre-Covid-19 practices subject to adoption of SOPs or guidelines”.
The notification issued by the Punjab healthcare department, dated August 9, all sectors barring marriage halls/marquees and educational institutions have been allowed to resume operations from August 10, with timings and weekly holidays “reverted to pre-Covid-19 practice”.
Sindh Home Department too allowed businesses to resume operations, subject to “strict adherence” of SOPs in view of the decline in Covid-19 cases in the country. In Sindh, businesses will be allowed to open six days a week, with an off on either Friday of Sunday except pharmacies and essential services.
Their timings will be from 6 a.m to 8 p.m except on Saturday when they will remain open until 9pm. Businesses will be required to allow only around one-third of their normal capacity of visitors/customers inside their establishments at a time to ensure social distancing.
The KP government issued a similar order. In a notification KP relief department said businesses associated with the construction industry will be exempt from closure subject to them following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) already issued for industrial units and sale points.
Businesses of steel and PVC pipes, electric appliances, manufacturers of steel and aluminium equipment, ceramic and paint industries, sanitary, paints, steel and aluminium works, and hardware stores will be allowed to open four days a week.
The provincial orders come three days after the federal government announced it was lifting restrictions on the tourism sector, restaurants and public transport, after months of suspension.
The decisions were made in a meeting of the National Coordination Committee, which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by representatives of all the provinces. The meeting participants also decided to lift restrictions on railways, airlines and metro buses.
Hotels, restaurants, cafes, Amusement Parks, Play grounds, Cinemas, theatres, sports clubs, gyms, Sports tournaments, Beauty parlours, Tourism, Shrines, and Public transport with SOPs are allowed to resume from August 10, 2020. All kinds of public transport will be allowed to reopen with immediate effect.
According to the notice, all administrative departments have been directed to prepare SOPs for the businesses/establishments falling under their jurisdiction and ensure their rigorous implementation. It warned that “stringent action” will be taken against the violators.
Furthermore, religious congregations will only be held after approval from the administration and will be bound to follow the standard operating procedures laid out by the government. While educational institutions, marriage halls, business and expo centres in the province will be allowed to reopen from September, 15.
Despite lifting restrictions, government officials have repeatedly urged people to continue taking precautions as the “situation can reverse in case of change in people’s attitudes” towards the virus.
As Independence Day and Muharram approaches, officials are formulating policies to ensure public safety and health, while warning people that the country can witness another spike in cases if SOPs were ignored.
By an order, it may restricted by provincial or district administration to curb high risk of the spread of Covid-19. Public are directed to avoid all places with the potential of crowding and “where absolutely essential to attend”, wear a face mask and strictly observe hand hygiene and social distancing protocols.
As per country’s health experts, In this scenario, as there is no alternative to strengthening healthcare facilities and preparedness for the potential humanitarian crisis if we need to continue Withdrawing the lockdown.
People go back to their regular lives, resume formal and informal economic activities. It definitely means they will come into contact with more people that could cause increasing the opportunity for the virus to spread.
According to COVID-19 observers, for a developing country, resources need to be assembled appropriately and promptly. With limited screening and testing of Covid-19 in Pakistan , and presence of a few medical facilities mostly located in urban areas, it is difficult to predict when transmission of the disease will peak and damage the more lives.
WHO has already warned that haste in lifting curbs can be risky. In a routine media talk WHO has stated that the nations must remain vigilant to stop the spread of virus and the Withdrawing lifting of lockdown, social distancing must be ensured and strike the right balance between keeping people healthy and allowing economies to function.
There is also uncertainty about how we will react to the loosening of the rules. Behavioural scientists advising the government already estimate only half of people are isolating for seven days when they become sick.
Pandemics is like a war that dominates everything and can shatter illusions of competence. It fears that the decision to open up is going to lead mor.
Originally published at Daily times