Second wave is seem to be most dangerous


While the second wave may be in full swing in Sindh and Punjab, it seems to have slowed down in Gilgit-
Baltistan (GB). The region has neither reported a new case in the last four days nor has it reported a
death since December 25. Surely, there is something to be learnt about crisis management from the
region. However, matters should be made easier now that Oxford’s AstraZeneca vaccine has been
approved for emergency use. Focus can now be placed on quick procurement and subsequent
vaccination of the population along with social distancing measures. The government has to be
proactive if any ground is to be achieved on this front.


On a national level, there are over 34,000 active cases in the country—majority of which are restricted
to the provinces of Sindh and Punjab. Considering that the pandemic is raging in such areas, it is
extraordinary how GB has exercised control over the situation and prevented any transmission of the
virus for the past four days. It signals to the fact that the region enforced comprehensive laws and
protocols strictly enough to shield people from vulnerabilities. There is no denying that population
density played a big part in how quickly this outcome was achieved however, the commitment is still
noteworthy. It would bode well for all other provincial governments to follow suit.


Only through such careful action will the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine by Oxford University also help
improve the overall situation. Currently, it has only been approved for local and emergency use. As such,
the need to adhere to preventative measures is still dire. The government needs to go about this with
dexterity. Considering that there is still a limited supply of vaccines available, quick procurement is
essential. We already have allocated a large budget for this objective so there should be no reason for a
delay. Then, phase by phase vaccination campaigns need to be carried out so that the population can be
immunized against the virus. Only through such a comprehensive plan can actual positive outcomes be
achieved.

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