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Lethal third wave

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Lethal third wave

THE data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday suggested that the number of new cases of Covid-19 continued to rise this week, as the positivity ratio hit 8% amid the ongoing third wave of the pandemic.

Pakistan reported 3,879 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the country’s Covid-19 tally to 623,135 while the death toll climbed to 13,799 after 42 people succumbed to the deadly disease.

This all-time increase in Covid-19 infection is a cause of concern as reports also suggest shortage of testing kits in medical facilities, health complications for infected citizens and a fall in the rate of recovery.

Most of the deaths occurred in Punjab, followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the worsening situation has forced the district governments in Islamabad, Punjab and KP to go for smart lock-downs while the NCOC has hinted at the possibility of re-imposition of some curbs.

The proactive approach of the local administration augurs well because there is no other choice but to ensure stricter enforcement of SOPs, which are being flouted by people and also institutions.

Some curbs have been imposed on commercial activities but regrettably the business community is not cooperating with the Government despite the fact that the issue is deeply linked to life and death of citizens.

The Government is requiring businessmen just to close down their shops at 06.00 p.m. which is a normal practice in many countries of the world but traders are opposing the move as they did in the past when asked to cooperate in overcoming the menacing shortages of energy.

We people would listen to the timely warning by Federal Minister Asad Umar who said that the new strain was spreading faster and was ‘more deadly’.

Islamabad Administration and the District Health Office have evolved a new strategy under which the city has been in three zones – red, orange and green to monitor the spread of the virus and strict enforcement of the SOPs.

Local administration of other cities may emulate this approach to get better results.