As we explore in our Special Report, testing facilities and limitations of an exhausted manpower pose a whole new set of challenges for both Sindh and the Punjab
As we move towards a greater easing of lockdown restrictions despite a surge in Covid-related cases and deaths – and despite the WHO urging the government to adopt strict intermittent lockdown for two weeks – there is a need for learning the lessons and adapting to the emerging situation.
The importance of testing in surviving this pandemic has never diminished. Since our very first reports on Covid-19, health experts have been urging governments to invest more in testing to be able to understand the scale and spread of the infection. The challenges of meeting a WHO-proposed capacity of 50,000 tests per day also need to be examined. As we explore in our Special Report, testing facilities and limitations of an exhausted manpower pose a whole new set of challenges for both Sindh and the Punjab.
Enforcement of social distancing measures and other SOPs to stop the spread of the infection requires not just up-to-date scientific evidence but also an insight into public and social behaviours. In countries like Pakistan there is a stark difference between how various socio-economic strata respond to the same situations. There is a need to be mindful of realities and challenges of each of these communities.
Many blame the government’s confused, almost chaotic, information dissemination surrounding the pandemic is largely responsible for how the public continues to perceive the pandemic and its threat. While the virus is still new, and the world continues to learn about it every day – including the government in Pakistan – there may be some truth to that claim. After all, only recently has the prime minister started being seen wearing a mask. This is a commendable gesture indeed that would not only drill in the need to follow SOPs among the public but also ensure the well-being of the prime minister and those around him.
But is it really just the government’s responsibility? From awareness messages to anthems to recorded voice messages on calls, there has been quite an aggressive campaign to educate the people about the virus. We explore this and more in our report this week.