Surrendering to virus

03 Jun 2020

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THE federal government reflecting the thinking of its leader was never enthusiastic about the lockdown in the country. But after the Supreme Court decision to ease the lockdown, the government seems to have abandoned any pretense at trying to enforce measures to control coronavirus.

It is a pity that neither the government nor the Supreme Court displayed scientific temperament by consulting doctors and epidemiologists before lifting the restriction on movement and businesses.

After the removal of the lockdown, the oblivious and undisciplined crowds rushed pell-mell to the markets, throwing all caution to the wind. It was obvious that the infection rate of Covid-19 would increase which we can notice now. We recently had a record 2,600 new cases and again a record 50 deaths, thus taking the total infection figure to over 70,000 and that of deaths over 1,500.

According to most projections both these figures are to increase exponentially in the next few days. The government seems to have resigned to the fact that the Covid-19 will now take its own course.

Our government is constantly using the refrain that it had to open up the economy to help the poor people from starving. This maybe the government’s wishful thinking; if we take a look at hard evidence, things are much different.

Sweden, the only European country not to order a formal lockdown, has not only lost thousands of citizens compared to much smaller fatalities by its neighbours, but its economy has also nose-dived because of the virus. I fear that we are heading for a double whammy also.

Akbar Jan Marwat

Peshawar

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020