It has been three long years since the PTI and Imran Khan got the reins of power and saddled the government in Pakistan. Indisputably, it was an extraordinary triumph for Imran Khan, who had struggled for 22 years and eventually managed to break the hegemony of two dynastic political parties, i.e. PPP and PML(N).
PTI had made high promises during all these years of struggle, contested the elections with the slogan of an end to the status quo, poverty, corruption, and even proposed a hundred-day action play to get Pakistan on the right track once they get in power.
But now, more than half of their tenure has already expired. The incumbent government has made considerable blunders, especially at the economic front, and poverty has been exacerbated in Pakistan.
Amid all these challenging circumstances, the covid pandemic hit Pakistan along with the rest of the world, and it proved to be another formidable challenge for the PTI government.
Initially, the government, as well as the public, didn’t take the pandemic seriously, and it spread to the whole country within no time.
When the government understood the gravity of the issue, it was too late by then. The corona cases had long before started to report, and the deaths toll had begun to rise by then. The government panicked all of a sudden and imposed a national lockdown in March 2020. Educational institutions, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, markets, every social activity was put to a halt. To stop the flow of covid inside and outside the country, the borders were closed for the flights. The government ran a massive campaign to spread awareness about the corona and educated the people to prevent the covid outbreak. Still, the first wave of corona proved deadly for Pakistan. More than 5000 covid cases were reported on a daily basis, and the death toll was at its peak.
The lockdown proved to be a disaster for the economy, especially for the middle and lower economic classes. The public sentiment largely turned against the government. The government subsequently moved towards the smart-lockdown policy and partially allowed some businesses to reopen. This approach proved reasonable. Because of the immense efforts of the government and due to the strong immunity of the Pakistani public, the covid curve flattened by August. The second wave of the covid hit Pakistan in Nov-Dec 2020. The smart lockdown was reimposed, and the second wave was controlled timely. Then came the third wave in May 2021, in which the delta variant of Covid-19, which is the deadliest of all the variants, has also been reported in Pakistan. Still, the death toll in the third wave of the coronavirus has been lowest so far.
As a whole, the policy of the Pakistani government to control the covid outbreak has proved effective and brought positive results. Despite being the world’s 5th most populous country, Pakistan has so far recorded the world’s 26th-highest death toll.
Significantly, the vaccination policy of the PTI government deserves admirable acknowledgement. The message to endorse the vaccinations has been publicised on television channels, newspapers and even on phone calls. An easy vaccination procedure has been developed, and free-of-cost vaccinations are being inoculated. Besides this, the vaccination centres are brilliantly well managed. The separate vaccination counters for the elders, teachers, workers and students etc have been arranged. Within no time, one can get himself registered for vaccination, and vaccination can be injected from any nearby vaccination centre. Considering the miserably flawed healthcare system of Pakistan, this is no less than a miracle.
The PTI government has faced severe criticism for their blunders, and rightly so, but the incumbent government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic deserves worthy acknowledgement. The government has been earnestly doing its duty. Now it’s the responsibility of the public to cooperate with the state, follow the SOPs and get themselves vaccinated at the earliest possible moment.