ISLAMABAD            -               Pakistan’s COVID-19 exit strategy focusing on gradual resumption of mar­kets, home isolation and smart sampling is all set to come into force during the next couple of days.

It is programmed to restart economic engine and restore social activities in the length and breadth of the country, says a report published by Gwadar Pro on Thursday.

However, the COVID-19 exit strategy may get reversed if people do not act in conformity with the set guidelines, it said.

Ideally, in pursuance of the new policy, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and KPK, AJK and GB are like­ly to be in lockstep with the federal government. However, they will have complete freedom to tweak their line of actions as per their local dy­namics, infection rate, healthcare system, mar­ket demand and economic needs.

It may be remembered that all is subject to public discipline and spirit in compliance with various SOPs laid down to blunt the efficacy of the deadliest coronavirus that has already sent the entire world in tailspin.

The COVID-19 exit strategy entails 13 SOPs to effectively fight the disease. As per SOPs for home isolation asymptomatic persons (con­firmed on PCR), and patients with mild symp­toms, of age less than 60 years and without vola­tile health conditions relating to lungs and heart disease, renal failure or may be looked after at home.

The SOPs say that patient living alone must not be allowed for home-isolation, proper edu­cation about personal hygiene should be given.

They underlined the need to observe hand hy­giene and protective mask in totality. They sug­gest to disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the designated room for isolation daily with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution and clean and dis­infect bathroom and toilet surfaces at least once daily.

Special instructions are for the person in isola­tion to stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbid­ities within the household, avoid social / reli­gious gathering. Home isolation SOPs ask for re­peat testing at day 10 of isolation and finally to end isolation, a previously tested positive pa­tient should have two negative tests.

Meanwhile, the 20-point SOPs for mosques being followed in Ramazan-ul-Mubarak will re­main in force later.

New COVID-19 the exit strategy also involves SOPs on the burial of coronavirus deceased peo­ple, on social distancing, treatment and clinical management of corona patients, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits by health work­ers at the federal and provincial levels, SOPs for purchases, the use of masks, and business ac­tivities to protect themselves from the disease, SOPs for construction industry, SOPs for allied markets.

The federal cabinet also announced relaxation in lockdown gradually after May 9 to help re­start economic engine to allow formal and infor­mal working class to earn their livelihood.

Given the coronavirus exit strategy, provinc­es have also come up with their own restoration and extension plans. Balochistan has aspired to reopen businesses but extended the lockdown till May 19. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has been flex­ing its muscles to get rid of shutdown. The Pun­jab government has decided to further ease the lockdown ahead of Eidul Fitr, but with strict im­plementation of SOPs, and the Sindh govern­ment has also softened its stance to ease lock­down restriction before Eid.