Now that confirmed cases of the new and highly contagious Covid-19 strain, which first appeared in the United Kingdom (UK), have been found in Pakistan, the situation that has emerged since the onset of the second wave of the virus couldn’t possibly get any worse. The prospect of the government being forced to shut everything down once again has grown much stronger all of a sudden. If, in the worst case scenario, authorities are as yet behind the curve in identifying the spread of this new variant then there’s no telling just what kind of new infection and fatality numbers we can expect to see in the very near future.
Not only is this new strain spreading much faster, there are reports that it is killing a lot more quickly as well; in about five days in all. The first thing that everybody, government and all citizens, must do is prevent a sense of panic from spreading. For nobody should forget what happened early in the time of the first wave when people with even mild flu symptoms rushed to hospitals and unnecessarily exposed themselves to the coronavirus. That way numbers spiked for no real reason at all.
Yet is more important to become even more serious about following social safety protocols. Some countries in Europe, like France and Spain, have had to order curfews to make sure that people were forced to follow the rules. Hopefully the government here would not have to resort to such measures, but the way people have generally flouted safety rules does leave a little something to be desired. At stake is not just their own lives and wellbeing, but other people’s also considering the way this virus spreads. And, of course, once it transmits beyond a certain level it will impact the economy in ways that nobody in the country wants. Despite everything it signifies, though, in a way it is a good thing that the emergence of the new strain in Pakistan has been detected sooner rather than later. Authorities must now rush to investigate just how much it has spread since some passengers brought it here from the UK. And since it has also been found in India, along with other places as far spread out as Australia, Singapore and Canada, this variant is a truly global problem already. Pakistan, too, must brace for impact and prepare for the fallout.