Coronavirus risk management

Nadeem Moulvi

The writer is a business analyst.

There is complete chaos and uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic and the crisis has exposed our fault lines. The federal government is at loggerheads with the Sindh government ever since a lockdown was imposed. People are unsure whom to support as on the one hand, there is fear of the virus but they also have to earn their livelihoods rather than relying on food handouts.
The federal as well the provincial government imposed lockdowns without the necessary risk management. The abrupt closure of cities was not an effective solution. People rushed to supermarkets to stock up on food supplies and other essential items. This defeated the purpose of the lockdown as social distancing and safety precautions were flouted and the virus spread further. The poor who were the most vulnerable sought help from charity welfare organizations.
The PTI government understood the problems of the poor and refrained from imposing a total lockdown as it could lead to unemployment and poverty. It has now decided to gradually ease lockdown restrictions. The Sindh government is more concerned about saving human lives without realizing it was not the only solution and required effective risk management.
I would like to make recommendations that should be implemented to manage the crisis. It should be mandatory for everyone to wear a face mask at all times. No one should be allowed to enter a public place if they have a fever or high temperature. Pillion riding should be banned with no exceptions. We need to implement these safety precautions and make drastic changes in our lives.
The coronavirus pandemic has given an opportunity to clean our homes and cities. We should fumigate shops regularly, clean roads, drainage systems and provide chlorine tablets to place in our water tanks. If there is some lesson we can take from the crisis is to emphasize hygiene and care for the environment around us.
The crisis has also shown the altruism in our society but we need to distribute money to the poor either through banks or money transfers schemes rather than their physical presence. We need to establish a price control cell and ensure adequate supplies so that the opportunists can be controlled.
There should be awareness programmes to highlight the problems and solutions of the disease. The role of the media is crucial. Since many people are in lockdown with stay-at-home orders, there should be entertainment shows for all ages to divert attention from the negativity and anxiety surrounding us. For those affected with the virus, there should be clean sanitized isolation wards with food supplies. The patients should be complete facilities to prevent mental stress as it can weaken our immune system.
 The government should make effective rules for the betterment of society and citizens. All problems can be resolved with good risk management. The government should not force people but rather make them understand such actions are for their own good.
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