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A pressing necessity

Mar 28,2021 - Last updated at Mar 28,2021

The government on Sunday extended the prevailing health measures until May 15 to rein in a new surge in the number of COVID infections.

The partial curfew on weekdays and the total lockdown on Fridays are to remain in place for another month-and-a-half in a desperate bid to relieve strain on hospitals that are reeling under the influx of COVID patients.

The steady march of the virus, where the rate of hospitals admissions is greater than the number of discharged patients by 50 per cent necessitates the continuation of a strict and effective COVID protocol as put by Minister of State for Media Affairs Sakher Dudin.

Despite being relatively unscathed in the initial phase of the pandemic, the second innings of COVID-19 has proven to be deadlier.

Rising fatality rates and occupancy rates of ICU beds, which hit nearly 82 per cent in the central region, point to the need of continuing a strict COVID protocol. Needless to say, commitment to the cardinal rules of mask-wearing, physical distancing and personal hygiene practices keep the deadly virus at bay. 

It is also noteworthy, the prime minister’s decision to issue Defence Order No 28, with the aim of ensuring the rights of creditors and debtors without the imprisonment of debtors until December 31, 2021, brings a much-needed respite to a large percentage of social strata, who have been reeling under the pandemic fatigue for more than a year. 

The government has been striking a balance between safeguarding public health and sustaining economic activities since the onset of the pandemic, and it has rolled out all in its arsenal to cushion the economic impacts of the virus.

The Kingdom is making sound progress in its COVID vaccination drive and the govt’s announcement to procure 10,200,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of the year, which are enough to cover around 5,100,000 people, is a welcome news. The invaluable efforts of the nation’s brave and tireless medical workers on the frontline will not be all for naught if the public upholds the values of responsible citizenry.

Fulfilling the civic duty, especially in times of calamity, and a wholehearted commitment from all and sundry in society is a pressing necessity at this juncture in the war against an invisible enemy.

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