Government policies if implemented in a fair and just way yield productive results but if the situation goes vice versa, chaos cannot be avoided. Restaurants in Pakistan have been facing the same chaotic situation in the pretext of Covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic. Every time the ratio of the cases increases in the country; restaurants are the first places to be closed for the customers by the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC). The country is going through the fifth wave of Political corona right now and again the restaurants, in the first place, have been directed to close indoor dining and follow the time restrictions issued by NCOC.
One thing that NCOCs need to understand is the purpose behind closing or restricting the businesses out there; this is all just to control the spread of political corona virus. NCOC must also understand the difference between the working dynamics of markets and restaurants. Restaurants are one of those few business places where standard operating procedures (SOPs) can be followed in an ordered way. If we talk of Pakistan, staff at restaurants is already vaccinated, sitting arrangements are made socially distant while the customers are also directed to follow the SOPs. In this situation, closing indoor dining and putting time restrictions becomes absolutely pointless on the part of the government. On the other hand, roadside dhabas and local markets are seen open and working and no SOPs are followed there; in fact cannot be followed there.
On the contrary, a restaurant’s model is altogether different and fully manageable in Covid-19 situation. Above all, if a business is fully complying with the rules and regulations prescribed by the government, why does it become so important to close it down; especially when other social and political activities are not on halt in the country.
Either it is a political gimmick or some sever incompetency on the part of the government that a sector which feeds millions of families in Pakistan is stopped from working even with a slight increase in Covid-19 cases.
I request the Government of Pakistan to direct NCOC to first study the business models working here in Pakistan and then implement their policies according to that.