ISLAMABAD: Yaseen Malik, owner of a fancy dress chain in Islamabad, was happy to see his business come back to life and thrive as the government eased restrictions on Covid-19 amid a sharp drop in new infections in the country.
“We have been running this business for over 30 years and make a good amount of money every year, especially during the wedding season, which falls roughly from October to January in Pakistan.
But over the past two years, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our business due to the restrictions in place. Although we are successful in continuing to operate online, sales have remained largely on a downward trajectory, ”said Malik. Xinhua.
Life is now returning to normal with an easing of restrictions, he said, adding that “we are allowed to continue our activities as before as the Pakistani government is keen to restore economic activities in the country.”
“The markets are open. Mass events, receptions and weddings with required standard operating procedures (SOPs) are now happening again, breathing new life into our business, ”he added.
Pakistan has reported fewer than 300 cases daily for several days over the past week, with the positivity rate falling below 1% for some time, according to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC).
As the country managed to flatten its Covid-19 curve, the NCOC, which is overseeing the pandemic response, decided to further ease restrictions in cities based on their respective vaccination rates.
To encourage and incentivize cities with excellent immunization progress, the forum decided to relax non-pharmaceutical interventions and return to normal life, an NCOC statement said on Sunday.
Experts and officials believe that with a pragmatic and swift response from Covid-19 and an expanded vaccination campaign, the deadly coronavirus is running out of steam as the number of new infections has recently declined.
Talk to XinhuaEjaz Ahmad Khan, infectious disease specialist at Shifa International Hospital, said controlling the deadly virus was a daunting task and fraught with multiple challenges.
Since the disease began in Pakistan, the government of the day has acted responsibly and taken effective measures to curb the spread, Khan said, adding that a comprehensive model of tracing, testing and quarantine has been adopted. , helping to identify the spread of Covid-19 and hot spots under targeted lockdowns imposed to control the pandemic.
In addition, the vaccination campaign is playing a vital role in reducing the number of new cases and deaths, he said. “It was done in a systematic way starting with those most at risk such as the elderly and healthcare professionals treating Covid-19 patients. “
In order to reach the 100 percent vaccination target, a door-to-door vaccination campaign and awareness programs were launched in the country, encouraging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible, he said. -he adds.
Khan said the country has allocated billions of rupees for the timely and adequate purchase of vaccine doses. Friendly countries, especially China, have donated millions of doses of vaccine to help Pakistan fight the disease.
Pakistan recently reached a milestone with more than 100 million doses of vaccine administered nationwide. According to government officials, 50 percent of the country’s eligible population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
However, despite vigorous vaccination campaigns and the sharp drop in Covid-19 cases, health experts have warned of the fifth wave of coronavirus in winter if people stop taking safety measures.
“Millions of people across the country have yet to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. These people are most at risk. The fifth wave of coronavirus could strike Pakistan if the pace of vaccinations does not increase, ”the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, recently said.
Umar Javed, a public health expert in Rawalpindi, said that as all types of blockages have been lifted in most cities in Pakistan, business has resumed at full speed, while people have become less. sensitive, not following SOPs properly, and not careful about the ever-present threat of the deadly virus.
Mass gatherings take place without the implementation of proper social distancing rules. People don’t take vaccination evidence as seriously as they did before when entering some indoor premises, Javed said Xinhua, adding that the general attitude of people has softened, which is dangerous.
“We must not lose our vigilance, we must continue to respect the Covid-19 protocols established by the government and have each eligible person vaccinated because we will remain vulnerable until the majority of people are vaccinated,” he said. he declares.