Punjab should enforce a strict 2-week lockdown in order to tackle COVID-19 spread, WHO suggests. With an exponential rise in the COVID-19 patients observed in the Punjab province of Pakistan, the World Health Organization has recommended that Punjab should impose lockdown having strict traits this time.
The World Health Organization, WHO, formulated a letter in the name of Punjab in which the efforts made by the provincial government of Punjab towards combating COVID-19 were wholeheartedly appreciated. The letter praised the governments’ past achievements and recommended what the government is supposed to do next to prevent the worse.
“Government intervention on April 12th 2020 detailing social distancing measures including restrictions, closure of schools and businesses, international travel restrictions and geographical area restrictions were instituted with the aim of limiting the spread of the disease.”
The WHO letter further said that during the lockdown, Pakistan was reporting approximately 1,000 cases in a day. However, this number rose after the federal government of the country eased the lockdown. It further said: “SOPs need to be strictly enforced to stem the spread of the virus.”
Cases increasing beyond 100,000 in Pakistan draws WHO’s attention towards Pakistan ,WHO said. WHO recommends that for any government that wants to start lifting restrictions or easing the lockdown, then six conditions need to have accomplished in their respective country.
Firstly, disease transmission is mild and under control. Secondly, health system can “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact”. Thirdly, hot spot risks are minimized in vulnerable places, such as nursing homes.
Also, the schools, workplaces and other essential places of the country have established the pre-requisite preventive measures. And the possibility of importing new cases “can be managed”.
Lastly, all the communities are fully educated, engaged and motivated to live under a new normal environment.
WHO strongly urged to Punjab that the government must adopt the two weeks off and two weeks on strategy as it is the only way yet observed that offers the flattening of the curve.
Also, it also recommends to strengthen all public health measures such as isolation, quarantine, physical distancing and contact tracing.
Keeping in view the test positivity rate, developing testing capacity beyond 50,000 tests/day is extremely important. Scientists have predicted that unfortunately, Pakistan is likely to reach the maxima of its Corona virus outbreak by the end of June by the time Pakistan records its highest one-day deaths so far.
Yasin, a Pakistani Scientist, who is associated with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), in Switzerland, and his colleagues Sohaib Hassan and Bilal Javed Mughal made the prediction based on a special mathematical model called the “Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered (SEIR)”.
According to Yasin’s team, by the end of August Pakistan is predicted to record 210,000 to 226,000 Corona virus cases in total and 4,500 to 6,000 deaths. Furthermore, at its peak, it would be reporting close to 100 deaths each day
It is fortunately estimated that if the government were to introduce a four-month lockdown in June, the number of daily cases could drop to 1,600 and delay the peak to July 20. In case if there was no any lockdown strategy, then 4250 – 5450 cases would be expected every day.