Warning by NCOC  


THE National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), which oversees the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday cautioned that the country is fast approaching a point where there will be “no choice” left but to impose another sweeping lockdown. Warning that there is an urgent and immediate need to ensure the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for coronavirus prevention, the NCOC noted that there has been a clear resurgence in virus cases and deaths.
The NCOC is, time and again, sensitizing people about the possibility of second wave of the virus and its concerns are not without a reason or justification as the Planning Minister Asad Umar, who is focal person on the issue, in a statement a day earlier said that the COVID-19 mortality rate in Pakistan has increased by 140% in the last week, adding we are collectively committing a blunder by recklessly ignoring all SOPs and the results have started to show. Similar apprehensions were expressed by Prime Minister Imran Khan too as virus cases are increasing in major cities and urban centres mainly due to careless attitude of the citizens and entities. Bazaars, mosques, educational institutions, wedding and cinema halls and other social gatherings could become a major source for the spread of the virus in the face of almost complete disregard to SOPs like wearing masks and hand-washing. Federal and provincial governments allowed resumption of normal activities after issuance of a comprehensive set of guidelines but ironically these are not followed despite the fact that violation of safety precautions could affect all in different ways. An effective media campaign with the involvement of different segments of the population should be launched to sensitize people on the issue. Pakistan is being quoted as an example the world over for effective handling of the situation arising out of Covid-19 but possibility of the second wave and imposition of nation-wide lockdown would deprive us of the honour that we achieved due to collective efforts. Another lockdown could mean serious socio-economic problems for people, who are already groaning under price-hike and shortage of essential items.

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