COVID19: Has Pakistan Proved Experts Forecasts Wrong?

The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recently assessed American travelers' risk of COVID19 infection in Pakistan being among the lowest in the world. The Economist magazine has ranked Pakistan second in the world for return to the normalcy of pre-pandemic life. These assessments stand in sharp contrast to Pakistan's low ranking for pandemic preparedness by the Global Health Index (GHI). GHS has also continued to rank India higher than its neighbors in spite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's disastrous handling of the COVID19 outbreak in India that saw people gasping for breath and dying on the streets of major Indian cities.  The health experts at GHS seem to be totally out of touch with reality. They are the epitome of the  "ivory tower" academia. 


US CDC Travel Risk Map. Source: CDC


US CDC on Pakistan:

In its latest global travel advisory, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed Pakistan at level-2, a level assigned to just 5 countries in the world. 

The agency has placed India at level-3, which includes countries where the chances of catching Covid-19 are high.  Most of the world, including North America and Europe, are placed in level 4 by the CDC. 

Economist Magazine Normalcy Index. Source: Economist


Economist Magazine Normalcy Index:

The Economist magazine has its own ranked list of countries for return to pre-pandemic life. In its latest issue, the magazine says that "Activity is back at normal levels in just two of the countries we track: Colombia and Pakistan". 

The Economist ranks Pakistan second in the world with a score of 106.6, just behind the first-ranked Egypt with a score of 107.4.

Pandemic Preparedness Map. Source: Global Health Security

Global Health Index:

Global Health Security(GHS) Index measures the capacities of 195 countries to prepare for epidemics and pandemics.  GHS has been publishing its rankings and maps since 2020 that continue to show that North America and Western Europe as the best prepared for pandemics. 

GHS has also continued to rank India higher than its neighbors in spite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's disastrous handling of the COVID19  in India outbreak that saw people gasping for breath and dying on the streets of major Indian cities.  The health experts at GHS seem to be totally out of touch with reality. They are the epitome of the  "ivory tower" academia. 

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Comments

Ali said…
I think this is not how countries responded, it is about how well prepared countries were in 2021.
We were not well prepared but we responded very well.

I think a better study will be how how countries responded to pandemic.
Riaz Haq said…
WHO Pakistan@WHOPakistanHeartiest Congratulations to #Pakistan!

Pakistan has administered 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, and this achievement is a testament to Government’s relentless efforts and perseverance for vaccine administration.

https://twitter.com/WHOPakistan/status/1493443515770191875?s=20&t=n5DyKt24z0q8r9bcLViMkg
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan has a big idea: Send 13,000 teams led by #women to vaccinate against #COVID19 . "We've got Pfizer. We've got Moderna. We've got Sinovac," says Dr. Kishwar Tanwir, who oversees vaccinations in the Pehlwan Goth district in #Karachi. #pandemic

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/03/05/1084228017/pakistan-has-a-big-idea-send-13-000-teams-led-by-women-to-vaccinate-the-hesitant?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

KARACHI, Pakistan – A doctor gives a pep talk to some two dozen women sitting in a hall of a medical center. "We've got Pfizer. We've got Moderna. We've got Sinovac," says Dr. Kishwar Tanwir, who oversees vaccinations in the Pehlwan Goth district of the Pakistani city of Karachi.

The women were about to go door-to-door to offer COVID-19 jabs on a recent February day – part of some 13,000 teams led by women that were dispatched across the southern province of Sindh to vaccinate some 12 million people over the age of 12.

This dramatic intervention by the Sindh government aims to vaccinate a cohort they have struggled to reach: some 25% of residents who have not had their first dose, despite vaccines being widely available for the past year through supplies provided by the U.N.-backed COVAX program, the U.S. and China.

"The objective of the door-to-door campaign was basically to focus on these people," says Dr. Sohail Raza Shaikh, the government's point person for COVID-19. "People who are less literate, less aware about the COVID-19 vaccine."

It's not known how many countries have tried to bring the vaccine to people's doorsteps, but senior Pakistani health officials said they were not aware of any other effort this large anywhere else. If it works, it could be a model for other developing countries, struggling to boost their vaccination rates. Pakistan's eventual goal: bringing the Sindh province's first dose vaccine rate to 90 to 95%.

Transportation: Rickshaw. Cargo: Coolers full of vaccines
Pakistan dispatches female health workers for these sorts of public campaigns because they're more likely to get access to women in conservative households who don't speak to men. They have years of experience, frequently fanning out across Pakistan to administer the oral polio vaccine to millions of children.

At the medical center in Pehlwan Goth, Namra, a 21-year-old health worker waits for a medic to fill her blue cooler box with a mix of different vaccines stored in a deep freezer. She's only got one name, like many people here.

She jumps into a rickshaw to travel to her assigned area some five minutes away, accompanied by her team – two sisters: Sajeela and Sajida. One is a social mobilizer: Her job is to convince residents to get vaccinated. The other sister enters data about the people they're vaccinating.

They reach the Hindubasti, a ramshackle patch of huts dominated by Hindus and Sikhs, wedged between leafy nurseries and a college. They weave through narrow alleyways, stepping around garbage and puddles. The women turn a corner and enter the grounds of a Hindu temple.

Namra is meant to vaccinate door-to-door, but she says she'd rather do it in the temple. The Hindubasti is a small area, she says, and residents can easily find her here, adding "This is a very dirty area – this is the only clean place."

She respectfully takes off her shoes and enters the temple, where colorful statues of Gods and flowers adorn a shelf. Her gesture is striking in a Muslim-majority country where Hindus are often looked down upon.

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