Disregarding precautions

Examples are always set from above and not the other way around.

Editorial April 24, 2020

It is good news that Prime Minister Imran Khan has tested negative for Covid-19. He thought it proper to undergo a test for the coronavirus after he met Faisal Edhi, a prominent social worker, who was later found to be suffering from the coronavirus disease. So the PM thought it proper to have him tested for the virus. He, however, did not take the precaution to go into self-isolation in the intervening period between undergoing the test and the time when the report came. By all standards of precaution, the PM should have quarantined himself in the intervening time in view of the fact that the virus is a fast spreader. Perhaps, he could not do so because of his very busy schedule as both the pandemic and its economic fallout are keeping him too preoccupied.

Now we hope that all those high-ups who would undergo the coronavirus test will voluntarily isolate themselves in the period between going for the test and receipt of the report. This precaution, like other preventive measures, is necessary to protect others from the virus. Those at the helm are supposed to set good examples to the common people to follow. This acquires special significance in the present context. Ironically, the majority in our society believes that a people get the kind of rulers that they deserve. This is a wholly erroneous notion. Examples are always set from above and not the other way around.

In the context of the prime minister’s medical test, a section of the media, as usual, displayed an irresponsible behaviour by announcing the test result even before it was made public. This tendency needs to be discouraged. A report in this newspaper says people living in villages are avoiding contacts with their relatives visiting especially from Karachi, Larkana and Sukkur. It is a wise approach, though apparently it looks like bad manners. No one should take it as being cold-shouldered.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2020.

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