As Punjab has surpassed the tally of one thousand deaths due to COVID-19, the provincial government has announced implementing limited and targeted lockdowns where needed. The provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid, while addressing the media, mentioned areas in Lahore where a complete lockdown will be imposed soon. While the imposition of a lockdown in these areas may create difficulties for the residents, however, this is the only way forward in flattening the curve. The targeted lockdown strategy is perhaps the best tactic at present. The people must cooperate with the officials; otherwise, the situation can go from bad to worse in only a few days, as evidenced by the consistently rising daily infection numbers.

Other provinces must also follow suit immediately. The Sindh government in particular, must decide on the next course of action swiftly. Karachi is one of the hotspots of the virus. The scenario in the capital city of Sindh is grim. A lockdown is inevitable in areas of the metropolitan if the authorities want to contain the spread of the virus. It is important to keep a note of all predictive models that researchers across the world are putting out. The Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, has already warned that the cases could cross the one million mark by the end of July. And if the predictive figures of Imperial College London are to be taken into consideration, then by mid-August, at least 80,000 people will lose their lives to the pandemic in a single day.

It is high time to take stringent measures before it is too late. There are at least twenty cities that are virus hotspots, according to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). As per the NCOC’s report, every province contains hotspots. The urgency of the times demands from the governments to take immediate steps in imposing a lockdown in the areas identified as hotspots. The sooner the provincial administrations come into action, the better it will be for the provinces and the country. Any further delay in implementing smart and targeted lockdowns can spell disaster.