With each passing day, the situation of Covid-19 keeps getting worse. So far, it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, let alone ending.
As of April 14, Pakistan has witnessed 5,837 cases of the virus, with 1,378 recovered and 96 people dead. Out of the existing confirmed cases 46 are still in a critical state, fighting for their lives. Due to the deteriorating situation, the prevailing government has asked for a temporary lockdown of all services, excluding essential ones. Sindh happens to be the second worst-hit province with over 1,411 cases. It is just behind Punjab, which seems to be doing even worse with over 2,464 cases. Keep in mind that the virus hit Punjab a few days after Sindh.
A complete lockdown of Sindh may be on the cards
Due to the alarming situation in the province, it seems like a complete lockdown of Sindh might be on the cards. The news comes from Sindh Information and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah who warned people that if they continue to ignore the deadlines, the government would have no choice but to impose a complete lockdown. Additionally, the lockdown could be prolonged if the situation keeps worsening. The minister also said that even after a temporary lockdown, if 100 people can get infected in a day, then the problem would only exacerbate.
Sindh government’s notification causes a panic among citizens
Just on Saturday, it was announced that all the 11 union committees (UC), including the areas of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Lines Area, PIB Colony, Mehmoodabad and Jamshed Quarters were to be sealed to cease the virus from spreading. The notification caused a panic among the citizens of Karachi, which is why the government issued another notification later in the evening. The government clarified that not all the UCs would be sealed, just the streets from where majority of the virus cases had been reported. The minister said that sealing an entire UC would only give birth to more problems.
The effects of a similar lockdown in China
As evident from the graph, when China applied widespread lockdown in late February, the cases started declining to the point where there were no new reported cases when the lockdown ended in the city of Wuhan. If the Sindh government were to do the same, the results would be pretty similar. However, people in Sindh have been taking the lockdown lightly. People still leave their homes just like they would on a typical day. The lack of social distancing is not limited to individuals alone; many supermarkets haven’t been following precautionary measures either. Given everyone’s attitude towards a lockdown, even if Sindh were completely locked down, it would be highly unlikely that people would follow the orders.
Failure to act in a timely fashion will lead to loss of lives
Of all the countries around the world, the US has been hit the hardest. The situation got out of hand when it overtook China on March 26 as the world’s most affected country. As the cases in the city of New York were nearing peak, families were urged not to leave home for groceries either for a minimum of two weeks as a measure to prevent the virus from spreading.
Keeping all these factors in mind, a complete lockdown of Sindh is highly likely. However, even with the whole province on lockdown, we cannot expect the cases to go down unless people do their part and stay home.