Sixth Wave

Judging from the rate at which Covid-19 cases are being reported in the country, it seems as though the sixth wave is right around the corner. In the last 24 hours, more than 800 individuals were diagnosed with the virus–the largest increase March. Our national positivity ratio is at 4.47 percent but in hotspots like Karachi, it has reached double digits. If this trend persists, the country will be forced into several bouts of lockdowns once again and this time, there no telling whether the economy will survive this undue burden.
Pakistan has done well to shield itself from newer mutations of virus that have devastated countries like the US, UK, China and even New Zealand. However, our barriers against transmission are clearly failing. With Eid-ul-Azha approaching fast, there are concerns about the sharp upwards trajectory in Covid-19 cases that will follow. The situation is rather alarming and if action is not taken immediately, there is no denying that the sixth wave will culminate and wreak havoc across the country.
Perhaps the main obstacle currently remains to be implementation. Thanks to the previous waves, we already have the framework needed to control transmission rates. Now it is up to the authorities to make the public fall in line through spreading awareness and launching vaccination campaigns with the same urgency as before. The public must be reminded that they enjoyed short-term immunity only and are living in a false sense of security. Booster shots are essential and are proving to be effective in providing plenty of resistance to the virus.
Furthermore, precautionary measures like social distancing, prohibition on indoor dining especially in hotspots, proof of vaccination before entry into public premises and wearing masks must all be endorsed strictly. No leeway can be given because the more the situation gets out of hand, the high the risk will be in the future. Accordingly, the government cannot act leniently and must enforce strict punishments for all violations in order to revive the discipline that our country showed previously.

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