The “Prevention and Control Ordinance 2020” enforced by the Punjab government might seem to many a harsh piece of legislation. But perhaps, the extraordinary times we are living in demand from the government extraordinary steps. Hopefully, the Punjab government, with the enforcement of this ordinance, will be able to prevent the anarchy that the coronavirus is keen on spreading. The ordinance allows the government to deal with those who do not abide by the prescribed instructions heavy-handedly. However, the greater common good demands that the ordinance is enforced with immediate effect. After all, the provincial government knows that it will be judged by its administrative capacity to curb the spread of the virus.

Some people may criticise the ordinance as a brutish attack on personal liberties. But what they forget is the fact that if strict measures are not taken now, then it will be too late to fight an active war against the virus. The provincial government is also well aware that the virus has the potential to collapse the health infrastructure of even the most advanced countries in the world. Hence it has no option but to contain the spread of the virus by all means necessary. While the government is doing what is required of it, ordinary people also need to assist the state in the fight against coronavirus.

No one can win this fight on their own; neither the government nor the public, or even the world at large. While the enforcement of the ordinance was perhaps urgently required, the provincial government must run massive awareness campaigns to let people know about the ordinance and the results it wants to seek from it. If the people are unaware of the ordinance and the purpose the government wants to achieve from it, the provincial authorities may run the risk of failure. It is hoped that the scourge of coronavirus too shall pass, and the ordinance will be needed no more. Until then, let’s listen follow the government’s instructions to the letter for our own protection.