Except for the incorrigible bad souls, the entire humanity is cooperating with one another in these times of an unprecedented global pandemic. Realising the problems the common people are facing due to the month-long lockdown in urban areas, the government of Sindh has allowed partial opening of markets. Businesses in various categories are to open two days for eight hours in a week on a rotation basis. Fishermen too have been permitted to resume their activities. All these measures are aimed at easing the economic hardships of the ordinary people and small businesses. SOPs have been agreed upon after several meetings between traders’ representatives and the government.
The government’s decision is a welcome move considering the fact that the prolonged lockdown had started to tell upon the low-and middle-income groups so much so that starvation had begun to stare them in the face. By all accounts, it was a tough decision that the government had to take. The severity of the hardships facing the common people can be gauged from the fact that the decision to allow the partial opening of markets was taken on April 19 when eight Covid-19 deaths — the highest in a single day — were reported in the province. The Sindh government has taken a realistic decision after taking a holistic view of the whole situation.
People have been asked to practise social distancing and traders have been told to ensure that this and other measures prescribed in the SOPs are adhered to. Shopkeepers and customers have been asked to wear masks, and shopkeepers are to provide sanitisers at their shops. Markets where these safety measures are violated will be closed. People should also practise hygiene to protect themselves from the deadly virus. They should stop making a fool of themselves in such trying circumstances. It’s no time for debates like ‘how the elephants got its trunk.’ We all need protection from the disease; we all need food; we all need to get over economic worries.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2020.
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