LAHORE: The Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) of Punjab has intimated the district administration and police officials regarding the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 in the province, given the non-serious and irresponsible attitude of the people.
According to the letter written by P&SHD to Regional Police Officers and Divisional Commissioners, “It has been observed that SOPs in markets and shopping malls/plazas are not being followed while implementation activities have also slowed down. Even though Covid-19 cases are on the decline, the public health threat still exists and disease may spread if adequate precautions are not taken.”
It further said, “It is requested that compliance of SOPs and face-covering usage to prevent Covid-19 spread may be ensured in true letter and spirit to avoid the second wave of Covid-19.”
It is pertinent to mention that the Punjab government had relaxed the lockdown right after the Eidul Adha holidays, gradually allowing markets, businesses and offices to restart their operation. The government had also issued instructions for businesses, asking them to comply with corona SOPs.
However, this scribe has observed that the fear of the Covid-19 in public has completely disappeared, with many believing that ‘life has returned back to normal’.
Speaking to Pakistan Today, Muammad Nazeer Imran, a shopkeeper of the market near Cavalry Ground, said that people were never afraid of Covid-19, and after the relaxation in lockdowns, they have gained even more confidence.
“On Eid and August 14, a large number of people came out on roads without any fear. People are not afraid of crowds anymore, nor are they keeping in mind the SOPs. Our markets are full of people all day long, which also causes traffic jams. The government says cases of Covid-19 are declining, but if the same situation continues, the virus will spread again with severity,” he added.
Khurram Latif, a manager of an office on MM Alam Road, said corona SOPs were not being implemented in the offices. “Our offices are open but people are shaking hands and hugging each other. Hand sanitizers are no longer being used, and people are not washing their hands that regularly. Staff enters the offices without wearing masks and outsiders are not being prohibited from entering the offices. If people don’t take things seriously, the situation could get worse.”
Zahid Abbas, a tour operator based in Gulberg, said that SOPs were not being implemented even in tourist places and the government should immediately take action against the violators. “Parks, zoos and other tourist sites in the city are full of people. With the opening of northern areas, a large number of people have gone to these areas for tourism and they do not understand how dangerous crowded places are. On Independence Day, people violated the corona SOPs although the threat of Covid-19 still exists and we must seriously implement SOPs.”