A few weeks ago, universities in Karachi, like IBA, reported two new cases of COVID-19—prompting their closure once again. Now, two more schools in Islamabad, along with 17 in Gilgit-Baltistan, have been shut down and sealed due to rapidly rising transmission rates within the classroom environment—threatening another national outbreak. As a country that saw success in containing the pandemic, it would be extremely detrimental for us if we were to let this go unacknowledged and unresolved. Thus, it is imperative that the government strictly enforces procedures that limit the rate of transmission and confines the virus completely.

Having over six months off, the need to reopen schools and universities was dire—especially considering issues like poor connectivity, lack of equipment to sustain online education, limited resources and the depreciating quality of instruction across the board. Resuming operations was also a step that had to be taken in light of the fact that the world over, all educational institutions were resuming operations and inviting students back to campus—leaving officials with no options as public backlash also amplified. However, this was predicated on the promise of the strict implementation of protocols that would prevent the coronavirus from spreading. The failure to adhere to this prerequisite has potentially cost us the progress we have made as well endangered the lives of many who may now be closer to getting the virus than they were before. As such, even though enforcement on such massive scales is an ordeal, a comprehensive strategy needs to be thought off and employed if the government wants institutions to remain functional.

Every single day, COVID-19 cases in Pakistan increase. While we have not experienced the second wave, we would not want to slip up and come close to another national catastrophe. As such, the importance of reestablishing control is one that cannot be undermined by authorities.