Pandemic isn’t over

Wuhan, the Ground Zero for the coronavirus pandemic, has reopened all schools for the first time in seven months. The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief warned that though the global agency wants to see children returning to schools and people to their workplaces, no country should pretend that the pandemic is over.

As many countries are witnessing declining numbers, people are increasingly relaxed about lockdown restrictions and safety precautions. The number of people wearing masks has been reducing and most casual activity is ongoing. This is a recipe for disaster as the pandemic is far from over. Rather there could be a resurgence in the upcoming winters leading to the much-dreaded second wave of infections.

The total number of cases has surpassed 25 million and the death toll has crossed 850,000. Many countries have recorded a large number of cases. India recorded half a million cases within the past week and a record of over 70,000 cases within a single day. The respiratory disease is also increasing in South-East Asia, Latin America and previous hotspots such as Africa and the Middle East.

Even in Wuhan, thousands of students were seen gathering at schools hoisting the national flag despite warnings to avoid mass gatherings. The WHO has stated the decision to hold large gatherings must be taken with a risk-based approach in the local context. The world is divided as some countries have controlled the virus while others are still grappling with the situation.

Pakistan has also decided to reopen schools and prepared SOPs which would be difficult to implement especially for kindergarten children to practice social distancing. Teachers would have increased responsibilities and school administration would be under immense pressure. This is also uncertainty how long this could last as even the slightest detection in a school could cause widespread chaos.

We are certainly one of those nations pretending that the coronavirus pandemic is over. It is necessary to pay head to health warnings and continue maintaining all protocols. It would be troublesome if there is a resurgence in cases and therefore, we need to maintain this downward trend.

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