The world seems to be reopening despite the coronavirus pandemic as we learn to live with the disease. The situation has slowly begun normalising in many parts of the world as airlines are partially resuming, sports are restarting and the wheel of the economy is gradually turning.
Saudi Arabia has reopened all mosques in Mecca and eased a curfew in the city while the UAE is considering starting issuing tourist visas from July. In the United States, Trump held a massive rally which was sabotaged by low attendance. Countries worldwide are gradually emerging from the confluence of the pandemic.
This does not imply that the outbreak is over but rather the number of cases are rising. As predicted, Pakistan is set to surpass the grim milestone of 200,000 by July. Despite warning from the WHO, not enough was done about the rising number of cases not were safety precautions taken. Prime Minister Imran Khan has already warned that the months of June and July will be difficult for the country.
The prime minister has said the situation is not as bad as India where a strict and sudden lockdown was imposed. Millions of people were stranded and many starved to death. The government here instead brought forward a smart lockdown strategy which it termed revolutionary and said will be considered by other countries as well.
The government has identified over 92 hotspots in twenty cities which cover forty percent of the active cases. It believes that a smart lockdown in these areas will make a difference. This is being done to ease the pressure on hospitals after we reach the peak and flatten the curve.
Many experts believe Pakistan is heading towards herd immunity – a form of protection from infectious disease when a large percentage of a population becomes immune to an infection. If this remains the case, then the government should take the nation into confidence to reduce the fear of the virus.
The government’s next priority should be on protecting the elderly and ensure that senior citizens avoid public transport and crowded spaces. More than 72 percent of coronavirus deaths have been of people above the age of 50. The situation could worsen and we need to continue our fight against the outbreak.