IN the middle of the deadly third Covid wave, schools across Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been shut down temporarily. That is, indeed, the correct move to make. One wonders, however, why the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan have been left out. Will they be closed only after the virus has claimed enough lives for the government to feel comfortable about closing them?

A minister recently argued that the coronavirus was almost non-existent in Balochistan. Living in Balochistan, I would like to point out that it is a completely baseless assumption. People are not testing positive for the virus because of lack of testing facilities in the province, and not because the pandemic has had some kind of mercy on them.

Similarly, those testing negative at Quetta airport are testing positive upon landing in foreign countries. People with Covid symptoms are getting treated for typhoid and flu and are not being told to quarantine themselves. Such negligence is one of the main reasons why the virus is spreading rapidly across the country.

Nasir Baloch

Khuzdar

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2021

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