The politicisation of the coronavirus pandemic has led to confusion in Pakistan, much to an extent that the general public is not even taking it seriously anymore. This is despite the second wave which has seen thousands of cases being reported and dozens of people succumbing to the deadly disease each day.
The PDM held massive rallies across the country drawing massive crowds just for political gains. This gave an impression among party activists that the government and health expert’s advice to follow safety precautions can be ignored. Many people still believe that the disease does not even exist or is a conspiracy against them.
The public cannot be blamed if political leaders downplay the severity of the pandemic and invite them to their rallies where hardly anyone wears masks and political opponents blame each other for the spread of the disease. US President also downplayed the severity of the crisis and the nation has been witnessing record infections each day. More than 3,000 people are losing their lives daily even more than the 9/11 terror attacks.
Our politicians are doing the same thing and the non-seriousness among the public could lead to a disaster where everyone could get infected. Why would the people take the virus seriously when the leaders are not much concerned? It is imperative both the government and opposition should stop using the pandemic to settle political scores and protect the lives and health of the people.
Pakistan is a country where people are susceptible to superstition and religious dogma. A survey has shown that four percent of people blame the opposition for the spread of the coronavirus. The PDM just wrapped a massive rally in Lahore and continue to debate the size of the crowds. Instead, most people blame the provincial government for the rising number of cases.
It is certain that the safety precautions and restrictions to contain the pandemic are not working. The government should formulate a strategy that is workable. A vaccine is still a long way to go until it reaches all citizens. A survey has found that 40 percent Pakistanis are wary of receiving a vaccine, suggesting there might be stiff resistance like during polio campaigns. It is likely that we will witness a third wave due to our callous attitude unless we don’t take the pandemic seriously as it affects us all.