KEEPING in view the present pandemic, the federal government should order an immediate lockdown and direct the provinces besides Sindh to enforce the quarantine directives.
Failure to do so will turn an already alarming situation into a major disaster. Allow me to cite an example.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa residents who tested positive for the Covid-19 virus was a delivery boy. The victim is now under observation in a quarantine centre.
After the lockdown was enforced in major cities, marketing companies have started online sales. To induce customers, these organisations are even offering heavy discounts. For people who order merchandise online, this can become a medium for virus transmission if the products have been handled by an infected person or one who is a carrier of the virus. If this loophole is not plugged immediately, it can even contribute to the pandemic spreading even during the lockdown period.
The lockdown should be total. People especially parents should not allow their children to order merchandise online. God forbid, if the situation becomes bleaker, it would be extremely difficult for Pakistan to handle the situation given her inadequate resources, weak economy and poor population.
The centre and provinces should also ensure aid in cash and in kind for labourers who earn an income through daily wages.
Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2020