Many called the slowdown in infections in Pakistan a miracle. The government pointed towards its own success and greater responsibility shown by the public to prevent further spread. It is undoubtable that the state performed its role diligently; if nothing else, the available hospital capacity for corona patients across Pakistan tells us that policies instituted are working. But once again, the number of cases after the Eid have risen in Punjab, albeit only by 200 a day, which shows that the general public needs to play its part against the virus as well.

If policies are not adhered to, all the efforts to flatten the curve could go to waste. Pakistan need not look further than our eastern borders towards India, where over 60000 cases in a single day have now increased the total number of infections to 2 million. This is generally the trend seen in countries with a high population density. Pakistan is one of the only few exceptions to this rule, and we need to collectively make sure that this trend continues.

With the government opening up different sectors of the economy and businesses like tourism, hoteling and food industries across the board by the next month, greater care is needed. Even places like wedding halls and schools—where social distancing will be a significant challenge—will start operating from next month. The authorities need to ensure that all these businesses and sectors of our economy do not show any laxity in following the safety procedures.

It is time for the government to ensure that areas where its directives are not followed become a focal point for the government’s awareness drives and force people to follow all the precautions. Any businesses that flout government-instituted rules should be penalised; the same goes for the individual citizen. Public interest demands that we do not risk any more precious lives and avoid what many believe might be a second wave of the virus. Whether coronavirus is resurging or not, we must continue to be on our guard.