Pakistan lifted the lockdown long ago. Slowly and gradually, all sorts of activities are resuming. After a hiatus of almost six months, educational institutions have also begun operations once again. But precisely at this time, the report of sixteen COVID positive cases of students and staff of Riphah Medical College Islamabad is an alarming development. The picture becomes grim as top government officials have acknowledged the surge in the patients’ numbers in the capital territory. According to DC Islamabad, the infection is mostly spreading through hospitals. Given the situation, the government must look into the matter and do what is necessary to curtail the further spread of the virus.

Now that schools have reopened and kids are attending classes we are walking on a very tight rope. The officials must ensure that the schools and other educational institutions strictly follow the guidelines. And before anything else, the authorities must seek an explanation from the administration of the sealed medical college and penalise the ones who violated the issued instructions. The responsible ones must be held accountable. Penalising the violators will serve the purpose of a deterrent. Otherwise, other academic institutions will also show negligence.

Pakistan indeed flattened the curve by mid-August despite the earlier predictions of our country eventually crossing a million cases. But due to Pakistan’s low numbers of COVID-19 cases and related deaths, we see laxer implementation of precautionary measures. Many have stopped following the safety steps. In rural and small cities, people rarely, if ever, acted according to the directions of the government at any point in time. The old habits are back; we are witnessing the same violations in urban centres as well. The government should not let the gains reverse. Another lockdown would become necessary if the spike gets unmanageable. If imposed, it could prove disastrous for the economic health of the country.