On Monday, a total of 20 people from the Senate Secretariat and five people from the National Assembly were diagnosed with COVID-19—leading to the suspension of all sessions until November 9. Unfortunately, there seems to be no distinguishing factor in regards to the attitude towards the pandemic between political leadership and the public at large. Strict adherence to protocols could have prevented the suspension of vital political processes. This should serve as a reminder for the government to focus on implementation and compliance if we are to tackle the second wave successfully.

Slowly but surely, the number of cases within Pakistan are rising. As such, it is imperative for precautions to be taken so that we can avoid the dire repercussions that the pandemic has subjected other countries to. Not only can’t the morale of the public handle another extended country-wide lockdown but neither can our economy since it is already going through the recovery process from the first. Hopefully, with the complete shutdown of the Senate for now, officials are reminded of the nature of this all-consuming pandemic and work towards ensuring that the country diligently endorses practices and policies that limit the rate of transmission. The decision to disinfect the entire building frequently and call back only a quarter of the staff after November 9 should have been implemented before this incident. However, better late than never.

Meanwhile, the government’s focus should be on taking stern action against any and all violations that were, are and will be taken in the future. This way, not only will the damage be mitigated but a precedent that all citizens of the country will have to abide by will be set. We cannot let our laidback attitude get the best of us and Pakistan as a whole. Otherwise, Pakistan will digress much more than it can endure.