The first case of COVID-19 the disease carried by the novel coronavirus first emerged in Pakistan on the 26th of February, 2020 causing a state of chaos and with the government taking swift measures to tackle this untreatable pandemic by procedures that require isolation and extensive care.
Pakistan in recent days has been under some hot water from international platforms and national agencies for reaching the peak of 250,000+ confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus with the density majoring in the provinces of Sindh and Punjab, the most populated provinces of Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s federal and provincial governments alike are on high alert during the pandemic with the governments providing standard operating procedures (SOPS) for the population to follow and avoid the spread of the COVID-19.
Provincial Government’s Stance On The Implementation of Smart Lockdowns
Sindh Government was the first governmental body in Pakistan to consider the importance of SOPS for the people and started drafting a complete curfew for the people in response to which the Federal government intervened with a policy that would not alter the economy as much as a complete curfew would do.
Federal Government issued a draft with the suitable SOPS for the population to follow to successfully tackle the pandemic which would have the least impact on the business and economy which included a smart lockdown which lasted from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM after which all the business and places of the mass gathering were supposed to be shut down, Masks were rendered mandatory for the people to wear as an extended measure of security, restaurants, and eateries are supposed to operate till 10:00 PM in the night to fully facilitate people with their hunger needs.
The draft also included heavy fines for those found to be violating the boundaries of the smart lockdown.
Repurposed facilities and buildings that can hold a quantity of people were set-up to act a quarantine centre for people to be isolated within, a large facility was constructed under a very short interval of time in Sindh under the overwatch of Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah in which the pilgrims from and to Iran which was a red-zone for Corona virus outbreak were held and quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days or until the patient recovers, upon recovery the affectee would be allowed to enter cities.
Comparison with other Countries
Pakistan in comparison with other significant countries like USA, United Kingdom, India and the European countries alike has stood in line with its smart policies to tackle the spread of the virus, in the American states the coronavirus saw an extremely swift increase in the numbers of confirmed cases right from the start and the government took swift measures to quickly teach and train its citizens on the proper SOPS and guidelines provided by WHO and relevant departments and eventually the graph went down, similarly the European countries of Germany, Spain, France and the worst of all Italy which saw the most deaths during the pandemic due to its high concentration of old aged population who were affected the most.
The main factors depending upon which the aforementioned countries were able to tackle the pandemic were
- The availability of high-end health care to all of their citizens
- The availability and correct usage of well-equipped hospitals and facilities
- Health testing labs which were functioning at efficiency and producing legit test results
- The general acceptance of guidelines and SOPS by the population
- Provision of economical and financial support to its citizens
China being the first country to register a live case of the novel coronavirus has set examples for the rest of the world to follow with the idea of isolation originating in China during this pandemic after the government declared a state of emergency and imposed a complete curfew and forced isolation upon the registered cases with criticization from people and anonymous claims of abuse by the Chinese surfaced but still China remains the country that eradicated COVID-19 from their boundaries from the counting of 85,000+ active cases to zero or so they claim.
Pakistan has followed in the examples of the said countries and produced its own set of regulations to tackle the virus which have proved to be successful.
International praise for tackling Coronavirus
As of 19th of July, 2020 Pakistan stands at approximately 260,000+ confirmed cases out of which almost 204,000 have recovered successfully from the novel Coronavirus and its counterparts all thanks to the co-operation of the people with the governmental bodies to facilitate the smart lockdown and obeying the SOPS provided by the government to ensure a successful decline in the spread or as a western term that came up “flattening the curve” of COVID-19’s spread.
Pakistan was internationally praised for successfully handling such a dangerous situation without heavily affecting the economy and the death toll for the patients of COVID-19.
Dr. Zafar Mirza, special advisor to the Prime Minister for health applauded the country’s and government’s efforts to contain the virus and its spread and successfully flattening the curve within Pakistan.
The special advisor also held the implementations of smart lockdowns and the interaction with the populus accountable for the timely decline in the spread of Coronavirus, Dr. Zafar Mirza also targeted the previous governments of the past for failing to provide the much needed healthcare facilities, hospitals and the equipment in the state-run hospital for these kind of situations following the national lack of ventilators and competent testing labs to distribute the workload and announced that the current government is aware of the problems and is working to prioritize the health of its citizens.
Dr. Mirza also addressed the anonymous claims that the government’s is busy in privatizing the national hospitals to yield profit and declared the claims as false and distracting.
In the visit of Pakistan’s institute for medical sciences (PIMS) the special advisor upheld the sacrifices and the efforts of the front-line medical and paramedical staff in the decline of the spread and applauded their work as a milestone in the decreasing values of confirmed cases.
BUALinks stands for Bain Ul Aqwami Links which means International Relations. BUALinks is an attempt to put forward Pakistan’s point of view on its geographical politics.