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WHO wants world to learn lessons from Pakistan’s COVID-19 response

Says country used polio infrastructure to combat virus

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Sep 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 year ago

Photo: AFP

Pakistan has made it to the list of seven countries highlighted by the World Health Organisation whose preparation and response against the novel coronavirus offers lessons for the rest of the world, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom explained that Pakistan has used the infrastructure it developed to fight polio to combat COVID-19. “Community health workers, previously vaccinating children for polio, have been redeployed for contact tracing and monitoring,” he said.

Other countries on the list are Thailand, Mongolia, Italy, Mauritius and Uruguay. The director-general also applauded the efforts of Japan and New Zealand in defeating the virus.

He also called on countries to invest in public health, stating that many have neglected their public health systems. “Part of every country’s commitment to build back better must therefore be to invest in public health, as an investment in a healthier and safer future.”

Public health is a foundation of social, economic and political stability, he added.

Related: As Karachi downsizes coronavirus wards, experts warn against complacency

According to experts, coronavirus cases in Pakistan have been on a continuous decline. On Saturday (September 5), Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah revealed that Sindh had reported to zero coronavirus deaths for the first time since the pandemic broke out in February.

Recently, infectious disease experts have said that no major peaks are expected in the country now. They have attributed the flattening curves to a combination of successful targeted lockdowns by the government and pre-existing immunity in the population.

Following this, the government has also decided to reopen schools across the country from September 15. This will, however, be in phases starting with universities and then leading on to primary classes.

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