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March 29, 2020

The China model

Newspost

 
March 29, 2020

I would like to humbly request the prime minister to go for a complete lockdown of the country, which has already been done by all the four provinces to various degrees. It is important to enforce a strict lockdown of all the country now rather than later, when the number of Covid-19 patients is still manageable. This number would have been much lower had it not been for the debacle caused by the government while quarantining pilgrims returning from Iran. If we prevaricate, God forbid the number of infected may increase to such a level that they whelm our broken health system.

One completely understands the concerns of the PM regarding the availability of livelihood for the poor segments in case of a strict lockdown. But in case of a pandemic, when one has to choose between loss of livelihood and loss of life, one has to surely choose the lesser of the two evils. There seems to be a consensus amongst health experts, on a complete lockdown sooner or later. The government must thus immediately go for the option of a complete country wide shutdown before it is too late. This shutdown must be accompanied by massive testing so that we can segregate the infected population from the healthy and prevent them from making many more people sick. We must follow the model adopted by China and South Korea and not the one followed by Italy and Spain.

Akbar Jan Marwat

Islamabad