WITH the novel coronavirus spreading all across the world, many governments have imposed strict restrictions on the movement of people to protect them. Pakistan is also partially in a lockdown while Sindh has imposed the strictest regulations to ensure social-distancing. Many Covid-19 cases, however, are still being reported from all over the country.

Doctors and other health experts, along with many government officials, lay stress on the importance of citizens maintaining a safe distance from each other to protect oneself and others who might be at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Ever since the lockdown, fewer cases have been reported in Sindh, but can it work in the long run?

One needs to realise social-distancing is not the ideal solution as South Asia is densely populated and people live in close proximity to each other.

Joint families are common, which can mean as many as 20 people living under the same roof. The numbers are far higher for those living in slums where there may be communal cooking and washing. It may be difficult for families to make their elders understand the need for social-distancing.

The solution lies elsewhere and has to be found. Meanwhile, there is need for a perpetual awareness campaign that highlights the importance of social distancing and adopting good hygienic practices especially when the coronavirus scare is real.

Abdul Khalique Jalbani
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2020