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Pakistan didn’t meet prerequisites before lifting lockdown: WHO

Recommends "intermittent lockdowns" in targeted areas

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 9, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Jun 9, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

A health official (L) wearing protective gear takes a blood sample from a man at a drive-through screening and testing facility for the COVID-19 coronavirus, alongside a street in Islamabad. Photo: AFP

The World Health Organization has urged Pakistan to impose “intermittent lockdowns” in targeted areas because it said the country didn’t fulfill “prerequisite conditions” before easing restrictions.

“As of today, Pakistan doesn’t meet any of the prerequisite conditions for opening the lockdown,” the WHO letter addressed to Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid read. It was written on June 7.

The virus has so far killed 2,189 people, while the total number of known cases has exceeded 100,000 in Pakistan.

The WHO said the spread of the virus in Pakistan has increased after the government’s decision to relax the lockdown.

In a graph, it explained that the number of new cases per day “rose to around 4,000 with a 25% positivity rate” after the government fully relaxed the lockdown.

The WHO said that countries willing to lift lockdown must meet six prerequisite conditions:

  • Disease transmission is under control
  • Health systems can “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact”
  • Hopspot risks are minimized in vulnerable places, such as nursing homes
  • Schools, workplaces and other essential places have established preventive measures
  • The risk of importing new cases “can be managed”
  • Communities are fully educated, engaged, and empowered to live under a new normal

The letter said “the population (in Pakistan) is not ready to adapt to change in behavior (hand washing, respiratory etiquettes and social distancing)”.

The WHO recommended that the Punjab government impose a lockdown for two weeks and ease it in the next two weeks.

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One Comment

  1. Muneeb  June 9, 2020 9:15 pm/ Reply

    Thank you Mr. Chief Justice

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WHO, Lockdown, Pakistan, Coronavirus
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