A passenger wearing a mask has his temperature checked at Karachi Cantonment railway station, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Tuesday, July 28, 2028 July 2020 Asim Hafeez | Bloomberg  
A passenger wearing a mask has his temperature checked at Karachi Cantonment railway station, in Karachi Pakistan on 28 July 2020 | Asim Hafeez | Bloomberg  
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New Delhi: As Covid-19 cases are rising everyday in India, something very striking is happening in our neighbourhood in Pakistan, which seems to have flattened the curve, that too with one of the lowest testing rates in the world.

According to data from Worldometer, at the peak of its Covid-19 curve on 14 June, Pakistan reported 6,825 new cases. On 15 June, the country recorded 5,248 cases and on 16 June 4,443 cases. The country then recorded just 331 Covid cases on 3 August, its lowest ever since the peak. On 9, 10 and 11 August, the country reported 634, 539 and 531 cases, respectively.

Data sourced from Worldometer | ThePrint team

In the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported 730 new cases and 17 deaths, taking its total disease burden to 28,5921 and total Covid toll to 6,129. All these, with a testing rate of just 9,878 tests per million. 

India is conducting 18,831 tests per million, the US is doing 20,2106 and the UAE, which has the world’s highest testing numbers, is conducting a mind-boggling 5,68,223 tests per million.

In a tweet on 4 August, Dr Faheem Younus, Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, wrote: “150 countries have done more Covid tests/million than Pakistan, Mexico, India, Indonesia, or Bangladesh. These 5 nations are now in a DATA FOG. They won’t know the REAL number of cases, hotspots, deaths or time to herd immunity. Drive carefully/humbly through this fog”.

 

Pakistan, nevertheless, is earning rave reviews for its Covid control strategy. On 9 August, speaking to journalist Fareed Zakaria on CNN, philanthropist Bill Gates said: “Pakistan had a pretty bad peak in Karachi, but now they look like Europe. Those numbers have come down. India still sadly is in a growth phase as is lots of South America…”


Also read: Millions in Pakistan face new Covid risk as they travel home for Eid


The strategy

Pakistan’s principal weapon has been smart lockdowns, which were essentially localised lockdowns in hotspots to ensure that the disruption of livelihood is very limited and does not end up affecting the entire provinces given the current troubled economic situation in the country. 

Critics of the government, however, said that the Covid-19 testing rates are low and the death rates look impressive because of the demographics — a far younger population, like in India. 

Low testing is a criticism that Dr Abdul Bari, CEO Indus Hospital in Karachi and member of the Pakistan’s National Health Task Force, does not brush aside altogether. 

But he said it was the stigma of the Covid infection, visit by district administration officials and eventual isolation that made people reluctant to test in the initial days. He spoke about some of his own acquaintances who did not get tested, but simply isolated themselves when they developed symptoms.

“Initially people were not serious about it, they did not accept that this was a pandemic. Social media was the culprit in that as various conspiracy theories floated around. We eased the lockdown for 10 days ahead of Eid (in May) and our peak came just after Eid in the second week of June. That hit people. They realised that they need to be careful. This is a real problem,” said Dr Bari.

“On the government’s part here was a lot of focus on testing, tracing and quarantining. For every positive patient, we traced about 30 contacts on an average depending on the person’s level of mobility,” he recalled. 

Pakistan also never closed places of worship, but put in place SOPs such as maintenance of social distancing and wearing masks. 

The educated class did not visit the religious institutions “for months”, Dr Bari said, but other sections did. 

Pakistan also reaped benefits of its population demographics in terms of death rates, just “like India”, he added. The death rate per million population in Pakistan is 28. In India, it is 33.

Dr Bari, however, said most people aren’t wearing masks.

“People are not wearing masks all that much. The educated classes are following SOPs, but others not so much. But I suppose that has resulted in some amount of herd immunity to be developed,” he added.

Slowly opening up

Earlier this month, Pakistan announced that it would allow restaurants and theatres to open in the wake of the decreasing number of Covid cases. On 8 August, guidelines were issued both for the reopening of restaurants and of tourism. 

In a statement on 10 August, the Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Society of Pakistan hailed the strategy of smart lockdowns. 

“Pakistan’s Covid-19 pandemic response is appropriate, with the decreasing case numbers reflecting the results of good decision making and advisory role of infectious disease specialists engaged by the federal and provincial authorities,” it said.

“The strategy of ‘smart lockdowns’ based on inputs from leading infectious diseases experts in the public and private sector has proved to be a practical way of handling Covid-19 infection in Pakistan.”

The statement also said that isolation centres in Karachi and Lahore, each with a capacity of 1,000 beds, had not worked to their capacity even at the peak of the disease.


Also read: Guess who the Imran Khan govt is blaming for Covid spike? The ‘jahil’ people of Pakistan


 

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Indian people are rich?? There are 4 times more poor people in India than the entire population of Pakistan also illiterates! Which world do you live in? Finance minister Nirmala herself confirmed that

  2. Let’s go point by point.
    1. Mandir: it was a case lingering from 50 years. The question there was about land. Not religion. ASI chief who came to conslusion as, a temple was razen, was a Muslim. I repeat, the question was about ownership of land, not religion. So, as the conclusion was it was a temple. Another land was given, to build a mosque.
    2. COVID: India has a recovery rate of 77% . Pakistan on the other side. Didn’t even test the people who were dead, until the time there was pressure from all over the world to do so. Experts according to data available before testing started. At least 20k were dead because of COVID, which were not recorded for. Even after pressure from all over the data, according to calculation more than 10times were dead and data never recorded for. There has been accounts where people in Karachi had told, they had to see their relatives die, because no bed was available. After floods in Pakistan, big cities like Karachi have been completely ravaged. Whole of the world knows, Pakistan is in a mess. Still, they use money for terrorism and not for their own citizens.
    3. Coming to relations with neighbours. First we will talk about China: Do you even know why the conflict of Galwan happened? Because, it was India who asked China to get their fat ass from Galwan and finger area. It was India who told China to choose peace or, India will use violent methods. India damaged Chinese assets in Galwan and, that lead to conflict with China. 30 of our soldiers and more than 50 of theirs.
    India had an instict that, China will take advantageous heights and, India took positions before them. India is face to face with China. It is not afraid of. This is not 62, when India was afraid. It is 2020 and, India will stand face to face. This is what made Pakistan insecure and, are trying to make Gilgit a proper province of their. With Gilgit refusing it and, now again saying it wants to unite with India. It is making Pakistan much more insure. See, what UN is saying. The reason Pakistan wants Gilgit as a state because, if Gilgit joins India, Siachen will be covered by another side by India. And, it will take much less time for India to take PoK and, leave Pakistan in an economical mess.

    China had offered Nepal money to talk against India. After few months, Nepal is aligning with India. With Tibet having already declared to join India. Gilgit will be an Indian province soon. Tibet is waiting for that. China is scared, if Tibet joins India. India will cover China by another Side. Tibet, LaC, Siachen and Gilgit. Both China and Pakistan will be covered properly by India. Japs have left China, Apple has left China. Many other already leaving. Japs are coming to India. Apple already in India. China has lost at least 20-30% of GDP.
    With ban on many of their apps by both UK, US and India. China is again losing thousands of crores.

    Now, coming to cow urine. It is Opposition which is worried about cow urine than, govt is. Ask any supporter. They will say, yeah someone had told months ago.
    People of India are more focussing this as an opportunity to show India at a better place. with both Indian companies, manufacturing and exporting and, also we are better compared to you.
    My neighbour is a shourya chakra awardee. He told me that there is nothing to worry, China is in no position to come for war. With India on side, Russia on another, Japs and Australia on another. And, US 7th fleet on another. China doesn’t have enough forces to counter all of them. China had expected, India to withdraw from important heights as, it is winter. India didn’t, as we didn’t want to lose to them. Their forces are taking it too heavy with torturous winter of Galwan. First time they are experiencing winter like Galwan has.
    While talking on peace meeting of Taliban and Afghan. MEA of India told it on face to Taliban of not to use Afghan for anti-India activities.
    India is an advantageous position, than earlier. Countries consider India along with them.
    With, Pakistani rupee worsening. The amount of money America gives into begging bowl of Pakistan is coming out not enough for Pakistan. It is in no position to come face to face with India. With, J&K integrating completely with India. It has worsened the situation of Pakistan. Pakistan is expecting that, India can take over PoK at any moment. Gilgit problem is on international levels. Pakistan will not be able integrate it. Soon enough, it will be India, Pakistan will be in a bigger mess.
    Opposition parties too are supporting govt if necessary. So, it means Pakistan is a toerag of India.

  3. Modi has failed in every area: the beating by Pakistan last year, the economy back at Hindu rate of growth, bad relations with neighbours, getting beaten by China, failure with Covid, Hindu terrorism growing, reputation as fascist. His obsession with ridiculous solutions like clapping, building temples, cow urine festivals and yoga, of course, have failed.
    Pakistan took to tracing while India went to stupidity. Doesn’t matter the Hindutva masses will applaud everything Modi does! Illiterate idiots.

  4. Well being I am from Pakistan , I will be honest in telling in what actual situation is.. firstly it is true that testing is lower it should have been double of what right now actually we are doing.. but honestly I think cases have significantly reduced. There was time in June when we almost reached out maximum capacity when it comes to ventilators but now ventilators are almost empty and besides each day we use to know about people in our circle that have got infected. But now things are for sure I personally have not heard any new cases within my circle for month. Now question is does this mean credit goes to Pakistan govt of handling it well answer is yes and no. Govt smart lockdown strategy worked well and overall in some matters credit should be given.. but at same time after discussing with many doctors most of them agree that in urban areas many people have got infected and now recovered hence we are heading towards herd immunity .. going further virus strain itself have got weaken some how now this something from God I don’t know how true is that. Lastly my msg to everyone there is no solution to this pendemic other than vaccine. Until than you hope for the best and prepare for the worse.

  5. This outlet is doing reporting without doing research. Just go to pakistan and find out how govt has simply stopped testing and have asked people to cure from home. Very easy to bring the numbers down that way.

  6. The print is doing reporting without doing research. Just go to pakistan and find out how govt has simply stopped testing and have asked people to cure from home. Very easy to bring the numbers down that way.

  7. The Covid-19 spreading more rapidly in India after the Bhumi Pujan in Ayodhya and it is a clear signal that Mr. Ram is not happy, because Ram worshiped only One God and never said to worship Ram as god in a temple or any where by destroying a Masjid where only One God is worshiped. Rama also ordered and preached all and his wife Sita to worship only One God in both happiness, pain or hardship. All those who make Ram temple and think they are true bhakt and lovers of Ram are misguided and misled by the devil as they not only reject the teachings of Rama but also reject the most sacred Hindu religious scriptures. In order to control and to finally defeat Covid-19, PM Modi and his govt. must stop the contruction of temple before too late to follow Rama, Vedas and Gita which say, “There is only One God, worship Him, Ekam Evadvitiyam, He is One only without a Second”. Bhagwad Gita say in 7:20 “Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.”, instead of worshiping only One God. Therefore, all the Head Priests from Temples must instruct the Hindus to follow Rama and religious Hindu scriptures. Now many Hindu scholars confirmed that worshiping the Idols of Rama or Krishna or anyone as god is wrong and injustice, and say all must to worship only One God. Please see the below videos for proof.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suSWX4sTrJA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGa6wbtOWBQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrDu7qHRGZo

    • True that, there is one God. One Atman. Every scriptures says the same, it is lord Ram who is Supreme being. Bhishma, who was an astavasu says that. Lord Rudra says it. That, there is one independent that is Vishnu and all are dependent.
      Now, coming to COVID virus. Forget positive cases. Pakistan is not even testing if the people who are dead, is due to COVID or some other reasons. If that is the reason, how will Pakistan get to know the number of deaths due to COVID.
      Testing is very important, for the safety of their citizens. Pakistan government as always has cared for Pakistan to be in good shape. That’s the reason, on record their no actual number of cases and deaths. From 1700 to 800 in one day. Even their is a way to lie. Not like this but.
      That’s the reason everyone is saying one thing. Whatever the number is, there is at least 5 times of the actual number are.
      It’s not Ram or Rahim. It is responsibility which is important in these times. Which, no one is able to see in Pakistan. It’s high time Pakistan learn the what to do, it’s not the name of Pakistan but citizens of Pakistan which is important.
      I say this because 60 terrorists of Pakistan which were shot down in India. All of them were COVID positive. And, Pakistan says curve has flattened.

    • Modi’s solutions of cow piss, clapping, intolerance, yoga and temple building are failures. Who would have thought of that?
      Said no one ever!!!

      • Do yoga. You will survive. Cow piss and clapping are not a bad option either. You don’t even know you might already be taking cow piss in some medicine or another. It is used in many allopathic and desi medicines.

  8. poor people have God’s blessings when it is matter of immunity. Rich people have lifestyle buggaze and poor immunity. it is no surprise to me about Pakistan. the public is poor and by default they are tough and fearless .
    Toughness and fearlessness makes a man jindadil and immune to all virus weather covid or bhukhmari. hatts off t

  9. What a gol mol article that says nothing other than praise Pakistan
    India’s death rate of 33 and Pakistan’s 28 does not make one a success and aonther a failure.

  10. Pakistan has flattened the curve because of its smart strategy! Nothing can be farther than truth. It is a sham. Imran Khan just want to win some cheap praise that is why he is making such absurd claims. We all know how strict and well followed the lockdowns and precautions were in Pakistan and the answer is that Pakistan is still very much in the malaise of Corona but they are just making baseless claims to win global praise. If proper testing is done over there, there will be million of cases still active.

  11. Don’t you think that word “despite” in the heading should have been “because” instead? Because there is a low testing rate, low reported cases and hence quicker flattening of curve. So, you are able to find positivity in heaps of negativity when it comes to enemy nations, but exactly the opposite when it comes to our own country….. No wonder, journalists and channels like this have lost their credibility and respect

    • poor people have God’s blessings when it is matter of immunity. Rich people have lifestyle buggaze and poor immunity. it is no surprise to me about Pakistan. the public is poor and by default they are tough and fearless .
      Toughness and fearlessness makes a man jindadil and immune to all virus weather covid or bhukhmari. hatts off t

      • Indian people are rich?? There are 4 times more poor people in India than the entire population of Pakistan also illiterates! Which world do you live in? Finance minister Nirmala herself confirmed that

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