Experts call for adapting to ‘new normal’ to respond to after-Covid-19 challenges

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Zubair Qureshi

The biggest challenge for Pakistan after the Covid-19 breakout was to get adapted with the ‘new normal’ to protect every individual from the pandemic.

The experts said this while sharing their views with the participants of the webinar ‘Life after Covid-19: Are we ready to opt for a new normal’ organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), as a part of its campaign ‘No one is safe until everyone is safe’ here on Tuesday.

Member National Assembly, Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of National Health, Dr Nousheen Hamid, while covering different aspects of the topic said that efforts to raise mass awareness at every level are imperative to become adapted to ‘new normal’ as a nation.

She added the further government has planned a massive vaccine program and by the end of 2021, about 70 million people are expected to get vaccinated. However, every individual would have to play a role to respond to the challenge posed by the pandemic.

Mr Hamza Shafqaat, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, was of view that we can get adapted to ‘new normal’ only when people would start following all SOPs as new way of life.

He said that the government cannot invade into private life to ensure that SOPs are being followed properly.

Therefore, cooperation from public is critical for the successful response to the pandemic instead of showing resistance to administrative measures, he added.

Dr Abid Qayyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI, remarked that “The challenge has multiple dynamics including challenges such as maintaining balance in lockdown and livelihood, online and face to face education and availing health facilities etc.”

Dr Suleri added further that we also need to redress emerging inequalities after Covid-19 such as access to connectivity, vaccination, and health facilities.

Public Policy Analyst Mr Mosharraf Zaidi, while highlighting various impacts of the pandemic at societal level, said that during all the efforts to respond the challenge including vaccination, we need to ensure that to one is being left behind.

The crisis could be turned into an opportunity in terms of improving our infrastructure.

He highlighted the fact that in case of a third or fourth wave of the pandemic, the cushion to support the most vulnerable communities may not be available.

Moreover, it must be ensured that all polices, and measures are inclusive and covering every segment of the society, he concluded.