Govt is sounding the alarm & requesting citizens to stay indoors.
Beware, beware, the National Institute of Health screams at the top of its lungs, the sixth wave of the deadly global pandemic is here.
As Pakistan lodged over 675 fresh cases on Tuesday alone (for the first time in months) and the grim reaper has reappeared in hospital corridors, there remains little to confirm that we are, for the umpteenth time, speeding towards a skyrocketing positivity graph.
What lurks below a two per cent death rate can easily spike to the horrors of yesteryears within weeks (even earlier). Data already suggests that just between June 14 and June 28, the number of COVID cases jumped by over six times. And that the religious festival of Eid-ul-Azha is around the corner considerably adds to the worries because both 2020 and 2021 saw the breakouts reach crippling levels right after people threw caution into the air and celebrated the events in full zeal.
More From FactFile: Pakistan reports 694 coronavirus cases, no death in 24 hours
While the government is sounding the alarm and requesting citizens to stay indoors, simply relying on the public observance of the rules cannot turn the tide. The province of Sindh, especially Karachi and Hyderabad, are emerging as problematic hotspots with a positivity rate hovering around 10 per cent and therefore, call for strengthening the disease surveillance system on a war footing. Our salvation lies in testing, testing and a little more testing. Apart from addressing the unfortunate decline in PCR testing, the government needs to unroll an extensive booster vaccination programme.
Even if no vaccination can offer complete immunity, it does serve as a belt and braces to bring down the hospitalisation load and reduce the severity of symptoms. It goes without saying that the onus to ensure our fragile economy makes it through lies primarily on the people. Awareness campaigns to urge the masses to practise preventive measures, wear masks and avoid super-spreader eid galas should be the order of the day. After all, Pakistan is in no shape to bear the backbreaking burden of suspended markets. There is great cause for worry. *