The home isolation policy introduced in Punjab is sorely needed and hence it is positive to see it already in action, with over 300 patients discharged from health facilities. The plan will have two immediate positive impacts. First, it will prevent the patients from developing any of the mental health issues that have become synonymous with quarantine, especially at healthcare facilities, away from their own home. Second, it will reduce the burden on provincial healthcare facilities that are already stretched thin under the consistent rise in cases.

Asymptomatic patients or the ones with mild symptoms should be allowed to go home, provided they are under house arrest and restricted from interacting with others. Having said that, the public must not abuse this extraordinary exception that the province has granted them.

However, the state must not feel that it has fulfilled its duty. The authorities must keep monitoring patients closely, even those at home, with a strict check on whether restrictions are being adhered to. This must not be looked at as an extended vacation from asymptomatic patients, any laxity on their part can lead to hundreds around them being infected.

In general, this initiative, and other policy decisions taken by the provincial government are effective and ensuring that we are fighting the virus with our best foot forward. However, there is still room for improvement, in particular, with relation to making the COVID-19 statistics more accurate. The health authorities must investigate the issue of discrepancy in statistics between departments. Error-free documentation will help the officials to better plan the strategy in the fight against the coronavirus. Data-driven policies have always turned out to be more proactive than ones taken to put out fires in times of crisis.