close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
 
November 25, 2020

Covid on the streets

Editorial

 
November 25, 2020

The rate of the coronavirus is rising fairly sharply in the country, with a new positivity rate of 7.4 now officially announced by the government. In some parts of the country, including Peshawar, Azad Kashmir and Karachi the rate is considerably higher. New cases are coming forward each day. And major medical experts who are following the situation say that this wave could be more dangerous than the first surge, which occurred this summer and claimed tens of thousands of lives in countries all over the world. Naturally, we need to take measures urgently to control the spread of the virus and thereby save lives. The government for its part says that the PDM is acting against this, by continuing to hold rallies in locations around the country. New rallies are being scheduled for Multan and Lahore, although the Punjab government has banned these and it is for now uncertain, if these events will go ahead or if there will be any kind of opposition protest following the ban.

The opposition has said it does not want unrest or disturbance, but is only interested in peaceful protest. Even on this, tactics vary with the PPP stating that there would be no point in changing the government by force at this point when the same system remains in place and the same electoral bodies and powerful institutions control events. The PML-N on the other hand, is eager for immediate change in power and possibly a new election. But for now, all this is overshadowed by dark clouds of Covid-19. We have seen how rallies around the world can lead to the rapid spread of the disease. There is a fear that the PDM rallies could lead to the virus spreading rapidly among people. PDM leaders have rightly pointed out that the government itself, until very recently, was holding meetings and rallies in Gilgit-Baltistan and that it is quite possible that the whole narrative put forward by the government about the PDM rallies and spread of Covid-19 is intended to find a victim on whom to lay blame for the growth in Corona case. But whatever the case, the PDM does need to practise some responsibility and for now understand that nothing is worth risking the lives of thousands and thousands of people. In this, what would help is the government – the PM – reaching out to the opposition as well and urging them to help the country get rid of the second wave as soon as is possible, so that we don't see the kind of chaos we very easily can – given the rising cases.

We have seen a near-denial in the country as far as the spread of the virus is concerned. Markets continue to thrive, with very little SOP implementation. Yes, there have been notifications issued to control the situation but we just may be doing too little, too late. We need to act quickly at all levels, with schools already shut down as a preventive measure. In such a situation, wedding events, full markets and even large funerals make very little sense, as do examinations for medical students who are currently protesting the bizarre decision to hold the MDCAT exams. As for political rallies, the status quo doesn't go away this easy. They may want to rethink their increasingly lacklustre rallies and postpone till the second wave is somewhat controlled.