Need for caution

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OFFICIAL data being released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on a daily basis shows the monster of Covid-19 virus is once again raising its ugly head at a time when the nation was heaving a sigh of relief over return of near normalcy in the country following culmination of the third wave.

The figure released on Monday showed that fifteen more people died due to COVID-19 and 1,808 others tested positive for the disease in the last 24 hours, with the death toll due to the viral coronavirus infection reaching 22,597.

The overall positivity rate for the country was 3.84% but the situation was alarming in some urban centres where the positivity rate is increasing rapidly.

Though the situation is deteriorating with the passage of every day, it is appreciable that the authorities concerned have not lowered their guards and seem to be prepared to cope with the emerging threat caused by the so-called Delta variant.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, who is spearheading the anti-Covid campaign, said on Monday that the government would use whatever administrative help is required, including the Pakistan Army’s, to ensure compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

At the moment, the national focus is not on reversal of the curbs that were lifted only recently but on strict enforcement of guidelines particularly in big cities and tourist places and by appealing to the people to wear masks, avoid crowds, and get vaccinated.

This is the most appropriate response and strategy as the country cannot afford re-imposition of restrictions as it would badly affect different sectors of the economy.

Understandably, the strategy of imposing smart lockdowns is being implemented in some cities to help check the spread of the virus.

The Sindh Government is, however, contemplating harsher measures as it proposed on Monday shutting down primary schools as well as banning indoor dining as the coronavirus positivity rate climbed to seven per cent in the province and 14pc in Karachi.

It further proposed keeping businesses closed for two days, instead of the one safe day a week currently being enforced.

Coupled with monsoon, the rapid spread of the virus would pose serious challenges to local administrations as well as federal and provincial governments in the days to come as their resources could come under greater strains.

With this in view, each and every citizen ought to follow the SOPs voluntarily so that the authorities are not forced to go for measures that could impact upon the socio-economic activities.

Vaccine hesitancy, among some segments of the population, should also come to an end as together with safety precautions this is the only way out.

Now a door-to-door vaccination drive has been initiated and people should cooperate with the medical teams for their own sake and that of the society.

 

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