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March 27, 2020

Lockdown proves ineffective to promote social distancing

Peshawar

March 27, 2020

MULTAN: The lockdown has proved a fruitless exercise to achieve the desired goals of social distancing and reducing the people-to-people contact while threats of coronavirus are looming, reveals a survey.

The people have been advised to maintain distance and take other precautions such as washing their hands frequently, but many people are seen sitting together at different places as shops and markets remain closed.

Though Section 144 has been imposed in the city, yet many people have not taken any precaution either. The markets in the walled city are shut, but the shopkeepers are sitting close to each other outside their shops and busy chatting, shaking hands and hugging each other. All the shops, malls and markets are closed in other parts of the district, but the desired results of social distancing have still not been achieved.

According to a doctor, the coronavirus can be transmitted from human to human as physical contact cannot be ruled out when they sit together at same place. He says that a full-fledged well disciplined lockdown is inevitable as it is an ultimate solution to avoid social distancing. The government should have set aside its political reservations in this connection and impose curfew to promote social distancing, he adds.

He says that the droplets of bodily fluids are another major source of spreading coronavirus and the shopkeepers holding sessions of chats in front of their closed shops are found frequently spitting in markets, streets and bazaars. The saliva or mucus of an infected person disappears in the air or on the surface. The coughs and sneezes can travel several feet and stay in the air for up to 10 minutes, he adds.

Representatives of labourers say that the present lockdown is badly affecting the lives of labourers in Multan and adjacent districts. National Labour Alliance chairman Ghazi Ahmed Hassan said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan is committed to avoid imposing a full-fledged lockdown to save bread and butter of the working class, but they are already suffering due to the present partial lockdown.

The divisional administration says that they will have to take strict action against the people to stop them from leaving their houses. "We have dealt with citizens softly in the beginning of lockdown. Now, strict lockdown is ordered to confine citizens to their homes", Commissioner Shanul Haq says. He says that soon good quality hand sanitizers will be available in the market. He says that not a single domestic corona case has been reported in the division. The telemedicine department has started functioning at the Nishtar Hospital, he adds. CTO Huma Naseeb says that the citizens may fall victim to coronavirus when they will leave their homes to go outside. The city traffic police have launched a crackdown on vehicles moving on roads. The traffic police have impounded 500 vehicles for violating Section 144, she adds.