Is Pakistan ready for the second wave of Coronavirus: Shafaqna Analysis

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In the wake of a spike in the number of Covid infections, the Pakistan Medical Association has said the country may be headed for “a second wave” of the disease amid non-observance of anti-coronavirus measures.“Pakistan is currently at risk of a second wave of coronavirus infections,” said the PMA, adding that the countries that are currently experiencing a second wave are facing a more severe form of the disease.

Infections are already beginning to rise to levels unseen for months in the United States, Italy, France and Germany, even before the onset of autumn, when cold weather was expected to bring a revival in the infection. It might be a cause for jubilation in Pakistan that the worst is behind us.

Pakistan’s COVID-19 outbreak is surging again with authorities imposing new “mini, smart lockdowns” to prevent a second wave of infections as winter approaches and Pakistanis increasingly flout social distancing and mask-wearing precautions.

As the educational institutions and marriage halls in Pakistan resumed operations after a prolonged lockdown, CPVID-19 cases have begun to rise in the country.

Amid the rising positivity rate in the country which has now crossed 2%, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has warned the authorities and the general public about the foreseeable second spike of COVID-19, which is likely to start from educational institutions as it happened in US, India and Iran.

PMA office-bearers while addressing a press conference said, unfortunately, the government’s response so far is limited to the issuance of notifications of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), whose implementation is non-existent anywhere including schools.

They said that the winter has arrived and schools have opened, and any carelessness on part of the government and the public might trigger a second spike of COVID-19 in the country.

They said PMA was concerned about the situation that might lead to a second spike of COVID-19 and demanded of the government to act beyond lip-service and ensure implementation of SOPs.

With the right preventive measures and perhaps some luck, Pakistan escaped a catastrophic situation that many in our region such as India and Iran  as well as those farther afield the US and European states  had to face. However, the challenge the coronavirus poses has not gone. Wearing masks and following other SOPs, such as regular handwashing and social distancing, are indeed simple steps that can go a long way in keeping a second wave at bay.

Moreover, with much of the public abandoning SOPs, there is a need to step up awareness campaigns and prevent crowding at workplaces, markets and educational institutions. And while larger lockdowns may be an option considering the severity of the situation, perhaps mini lockdowns can quickly be put in place in areas where a high number of infections are being reported. As the PMA has said, the fight against Covid-19 can only be won if people act responsibly and follow SOPs, and the state implements rules strictly. Pakistan must be ready to face the second wave and defeat it through preventive steps.

Shafaqna Pakistan

pakistan.shafaqna.com

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