As we look towards the government to effectively prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan, the public must also realise the part it needs to play to help the government achieve its goal. Despite countless calls for social distancing and restricting to homes except in case of an emergency, a number of cases have been reported in violation of the lockdown, particularly in the city of Lahore. A death was reported due to kite flying in the Factory Area, a designer’s husband was found guilty of not reporting corona-infected house help to the authorities and risking several lives as the individual was sent back to his village, and families continue to move in numbers of two, three and four to marketplaces that have not shut down due to the lockdown.

This only reiterates the public’s lack of understanding and responsibility towards the crisis situation, which could potentially become a hazard for the health system in Pakistan. The rate at which the number of cases has gone up in the country, the curve will only increase if the public itself does not practice safety. All the relevant information regarding the virus is available on our television channels and newspapers, the government is being as vocal as possible to education citizens and it is important that people understand the threat of such a situation. Over the next few days, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Zulfiqar Hameed has promised strict action against those in violation of the lockdown. Police have so far registered 233 cases and 548 arrests have been made.

The government’s lockdown is only effective if people stay at home, listen to and implement the safety protocols in place, and help save those around them to prevent this virus from taking away several lives. It is important to cooperate with the authorities because these lockdowns are in place to help protect our lives; we must let the government fulfil its responsibilities by recognising our own as well.