Opting for a Smart Lockdown in Pakistan
PIDE COVID-19 Bulletin No. 2, talked about the ‘lockdown paradox’ that confronted Pakistan, and most countries in the world, at that time. What we have seen in the country is neither a complete lockdown nor exactly just a slowdown. Twenty-two days have passed since that Bulletin, and people are beginning to show signs of worry, restlessness and fatigue. The same can be said of the national economy. Can we go on indefinitely like this? No country can, neither can we. Although the ‘paradox’ remains but we are at least better prepared now- with a few quarantines made, some testing ability and medical equipment attained and relief packages for the poor and small businesses in place, than we were three weeks back. With April 14 nearing, when the decision about the current state of lockdown is to be made, we need to see if there are any options available for us that can help us reduce the pressure on economy, personal and national, without putting lives in danger. Perhaps it is time to consider a Smart Lockdown.