Word Health Organisation (WHO) in a letter to the Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid has warned that Pakistan is not ready to lift the lockdown yet.
Dr. Palitha Mahipala, WHO Country Head for Pakistan, wrote the letter detailing that Pakistan does not meet requirements to lift/ease the lockdown.
The organization responsible for international public health has recommended that Pakistan should impose “intermittent lockdown” to limit the spread of the deadly virus.
WHO has suggested that the country should implement the lockdown with a strategy of two weeks on and two weeks off. This would help keep the economy running as well as reduce the number of new cases in the country.
The letter included facts to compare the situation when the lockdown was imposed and then eased without reaching the targeted goal.
It was mentioned that the partial relaxation in the lockdown on May 1, followed by a complete relaxation on May 22, caused the rate of infection to surge.
The letter also listed down the pre-requisites that a country has to meet before lifting the lockdown. These included:
1. Disease transmission is under control.
2. Health systems can “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact.”
3. Hot spot risks are minimized in vulnerable places.
4. Schools, workplaces and other essential places should have preventive measures.
5. The risk of importing new cases can be managed.
6. Communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal.
Unfortunately, Pakistan lifted the lockdown without meeting the above listed requirements and its results have been daunting.
Following the news, the government has come under severe criticism for failing to take stock of the repercussions before lifting the lockdown.
COVID19 is a global pandemic that has left the world at large in a vulnerable state.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Share them in the comments below.