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No excuse for another lockdown

Imran Alvi


The writer is a stock market analyst.

The situation in the country has been worsening with each passing day. The most vulnerable segments of society are the worst affected and are facing dire circumstances on the verge of starvation.
When the pandemic started spreading, the Sindh government was the first to impose a lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took practical steps and ordered strict measures but unfortunately, many parties gave the misleading impression and sent the wrong message that the provincial government was taking measures for political purposes.
The situation was contrary to reality and the Sindh government has the right to impose a lockdown. While even China struggled to save its people from the disease, there was no possibility that Pakistan would handle a pandemic of such proportions. As the virus spread, the Sindh government recommended a lockdown that was vehemently opposed by the federal government. A few days, Punjab imposed a lockdown and the entire nation followed suit.
The government confronted the issue of labour class and daily wagers. It launched several schemes and relief packages such as the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Services and the provision of food supplies.  This was deemed insufficient and we have seen just politicking over the coronavirus crisis. We can be safe from the virus by practicing basic safety precautions. We should question both governments for resorting to politicking while the lives of people were at stake.
This is a testing period for various political parties for not showing national unity even during a crisis. We did not even see them take a dignified stand for the people. As expected, there has been just mere rhetoric and politicking ever since and no one has taken the crisis seriously.
The government has eased lockdown restrictions after nearly two months citing dismal economic conditions and the need to revive business activities. However, people flocked to the markets for Eid preparations flouting all SOPs and safety precautions leading to overcrowding in the streets.
Many markets were sealed in Sindh and Punjab for the violations. It is our responsibility to adhere to these regulations as we are responsible for the recent surge in cases. The will give the government an excuse and it will have no option than to reimpose an even strict and longer lockdown.
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