COVID19 in Pakistan: Smart Lockdown Brought About Declining Infections
Test Positivity Rate:
There has been a significant fall in coronavirus test positivity rate from over 22% in June to below 10% now, and excluding Sindh, near 5% for the rest of the country. Neighboring India has positivity rate at 12.1% and rising.
|Test Positivity Rates in India and Pakistan. Source: Our World in Data|
Biweekly Death Rates:
Pakistan has seen 38% decline in biweekly deaths while neighboring India has experienced 43% jump in biweekly deaths.
|Change in Buweekly CIVID19 Deaths in India and Pakistan|
Health Chief Dr. Zafar Mirza's Interview:
What has brought this about? Is it just Pakistan's good fortune? Why is it so different from the situation in neighboring India where the infections are rising? Is it the result of a series of deliberate interventions by Pakistan's government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan? What are the key factors contributing to falling coronavirus transmission rate in the country? Here are some of Pakistan's Health Chief Dr. Zafar Mirza's answers to these questions that came to light in a recent interview with Pakistani journalist Bilal Lakhani:
1. There were 50 different interventions with 2300 smart lockdowns covering 47 million people based on data driven evidence of disease spread.
2. Significant change in people's behavior with large percentage wearing masks and taking other precautions to prevent transmission.
3. A fall in positivity from over 22% to below 10%, and excluding Sindh, near 5% for the country.
4. Significant decline in hospitalizations and fewer patients in critical care.
5. The government staying the course while ignoring the mass hysteria for total nationwide lockdown like India's stirred up in the media came mainly from the well-fed rich and the upper middle class. The voices of the ordinary people and daily wage earners were not part of public discourse reported by the media.
Pakistan has seen a rapid decline its COVID19 test positivity over the last several weeks. The country has seen a fall in positivity rate from over 22% in June to below 10% now, and excluding Sindh, near 5% for the rest of the country. Neighboring India has positivity rate at 12.1% and rising. At just 0.74, the effective coronavirus reproduction rate (Rt) in Pakistan is among the lowest in the world. An Rt of less than 1 indicates each infected person is infecting fewer than one person. Only Italy (0.63), Netherlands (0.62), Canada (0.50) and Spain (0.02) have lower reproduction rates than Pakistan's. However, this is no time to relax. Pakistanis need to continue to take all precautions during Eid ul Azha holidays, including wearing face masks, to ensure that COVID19 fades out in the country.
Here's Bilal Lakhani's video:
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