Coronavirus outbreak is getting worse day after day in Pakistan and its spread is exponential. The trajectory of figures when compared to other countries is far worse in Pakistan. The federal and provincial governments have been taking steps to control the spread of the novel disease without putting the entire country into complete lock-down. But slowly it is coming to the realization of the authorities that without a lock-down, controlling the pandemic is an absurd dream.
In order to minimize the interaction between people and promote social distancing, the federal government has decided to put Islamabad into a partial lock-down. The government has imposed Section-144 Cr PC, 1898 to ensure the the immediate prevention. This act of the constitution prohibits the presence of more than 4 individuals at a certain place. During the exercise of this act, if any gathering is observed by the law enforcement agencies, it is labelled unlawful and the people in it are charged respectively.
The notification was issued by the Office of the District Magistrate of Islamabad. It stated that the government had consulted experts on the matter and has come up with a strategy to control the pandemic from spreading in Islamabad as much as possible. It said that the guidelines and instructions that the government has announced are in favor of prevention of danger to human life. A complete lock-down was not considered keeping in mind public peace and tranquility.
The notification says that all markets, shopping malls and restaurants will be bound to stop their activities of all sorts by 10:00 pm. In addition, all beauty parlors and public dealing offices will remain closed. However, the sectors critical to public’s proceedings like pharmacies, dispensaries, clinics, grocery stores, bakeries, atta chakkies, tandoors, milk shops, auto workshops, petrol pumps, chicken and meat shops, mandis and food outlets (only takeaway) will be exempted.
All public and private hospitals in Islamabad have been directed to appoint a Coronavirus focal personnel. The construction of more isolation wards has started at all hospitals and some universities have offered to lend their buildings for space. Regarding the burial of the people who have sadly died from the virus, Islamabad’s SOP is that the funeral must only be attended by close family members and big gatherings will not be allowed. Mosques and churches have also been told to only call essential staff members that are required.
An anti-coronavirus research centre has also been established at the Quaid-e-Azam University. It is being headed by the vice-chancellor of the university. According to him, the designated team is in continuous contact with researchers in UK, China and the US.