On 4th Nov 2020, a record surge in coronavirus cases was reported in Pakistan. There were a total of 1,300 coronavirus cases reported on a single day. 18 people have died in the second-wave of the coronavirus, which has created uproar in the public. At this crucial point, while the economy of Pakistan is still at stake, the government is pointing fingers at the public for their negligence to cause the rapid spread of the coronavirus. However, the myopic and simplistic stance of the government is merely a sweeping statement to mask the poor policy framework to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The myopic vision of the Government to prevent the spread of the virus is fatal for the economy. The country observed complete lockdown for up to 4 months. There is still a long way to go to overcome the economic repercussions of lockdown.
The Government recently announced to revise the timings of restaurants and eateries till 10 pm to curb down the spread of the virus as according to the government, the only way the virus is spreading is through socialization. Again, this hasty generalization is going to be disastrous for the food and restaurant industry, which still hasn’t recovered from the incurred losses and struggling to withstand these testing times. Cutting short the timing of restaurants may not be the ultimate solution to prevent virus but it will directly hamper restaurant business. This new policy of the Government is going to have a boomerang effect as short timings of restaurants can lead to more rush hence making it hard to follow SOPs properly.
The revised timing of restaurants seems like a prevention measure is a crack-down against all the employees, employers, vendors, and stakeholders under the façade. There is no relief to the restaurant and hospitality industry from the government so far, even though the restaurant and hospitality industry is significantly contributing to the economy of Pakistan.
The Lahore Restaurants Unity Association has actively raised voice for the rights of employees and employers. The President and Chairman of LRU have been protesting against the incompetent policies of the Government throughout the entire tenure of lockdown. The protests did have a ripple-effect and served the best interest of restaurant employees and employers in the short run. Now is the time for all the members, and those who care enough to uplift the economy to stand together and raise their voice against poor policies of the government.