Officially, Pakistan has entered the sixth wave of coronavirus as in recent weeks there has been a steady surge in covid cases all over Pakistan with Karachi and other major cities leading. Thankfully, schools are closed due to summer vacations otherwise children’s safety would have been at stake. The government has lifted restrictions on market timing because of Eid days, which has contributed to a spike in coronavirus cases. If the rate of cases continues going up, like in March 2020, the lockdown regime may come back and may also be for an indefinite period. As the world opens up permanently, it is important for Pakistan to follow suit but that can only be done if Pakistanis get vaccinated and follow social distancing and face mask rules. With the Delta and other variants increasingly taking hostages, the government and people fear that the outcome of this will be devastating and their fear comes from the right place. When you see your neighboring county being devastated by a virus, you fear for your own life as well. So the importance of the vaccine is once again coming to the forefront.
The National Command and Operation Centre has also released guidelines for Eidul Azha, under which social distancing is a must for every citizen. All over the country, Eidul Azha prayers will be held in open spaces under stringent Covid-19 protocols. If inside a mosque, their windows and doors should be kept open for ventilation. The NCOC has also advised the people to arrange more than one prayer at a venue with staggered timings so that maximum people can offer prayers while maintaining social distance. The role of ulema is very critical in the implementation of guidelines which should urge the people to refrain from embracing and hand shaking after the prayer to avoid chances of disease transmission. Similarly, the people gathered at a place for collective sacrifice should also follow social distancing rules. Pakistan is wading through a difficult economic situation and any problems arising due to the covid pandemic would aggravate the situation. The nation should show unity and resolve to defeat the sixth wave and it did in the previous waves, Similarly, the government of the day should also show the commitment to defeat the sixth wave.