Honourable Sir, Health professionals across the country are imploring the government to call for a stricter lockdown. If their call is put under the carpet, the government will commit a grave mistake and an already compromised healthcare system will collapse. Day in and day out, the doctors are beseeching the government that the present lockdown will sag under the weight of the coronavirus contagion as the number of victims of the said virus are increasing with an alarming proportion. Our hospitals cannot bear the burden of the ever-increasing number of patients. It is out of the mind’s capacity to understand why there is a blithe disregard to the health experts’ call.

There is not a shred of doubt that a majority of people will be affected if the noose of the lockdown is tightened, but it is the duty of the government and the state to provide bread and butter to the doorsteps of the underprivileged. The first duty of the government should be to see that the people have food and water. The second is that they should have access to education. The third is that they remain healthy to enjoy the first two.

Unequivocally, an incomplete lockdown is neither smart nor naive. Our approach towards the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is completely different in contrast to other countries, where “daily death” is being avoided by giving less importance to “daily bread.”

I had to go to a medical store to fetch my medicines here in Sialkot as I am a chronic patient of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and needed my medicines desperately. What I saw in the bazaars was a brazen violation of the lockdown. The activities of the people were not at all scaled down to the essentials. Most people were moving about with uncovered with faces, defying protocols. Rickshaws were plying the roads and some shopkeepers were selling their luxury items with the shutters of their shops half down. The sellers were kicking up their lips at the slightest opportunity to mint colossal money.

No doubt, extraordinary circumstances need extraordinary measures. In this regard, I humbly solicit the Prime Minister Imran Khan to impose a strict lockdown to save the lives of the people. If the Prime Minister’s assertion is accepted that the lockdown was enforced due to the pressure of the elite class, one can rightly assume that he is not at the helm of affairs and the real power lies somewhere other than the PM house. All is not lost, but a halfhearted attempt to control the pandemic portends a bleak future.

MUBUSHAR ALI SULEHRIA,

Sialkot.