In response to a letter by the World Health Organization (WHO) urging Pakistan to impose lockdown, Dr. Zafar Mirza said that it is not necessary to follow the recommendations of the organization. “Government has adopted a planned strategy to deal with the coronavirus. We do have an option of lockdown but people are advised to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for now,” he said. It is impossible to defeat Coronavirus without changing attitudes,” he maintained. He further said that the non-operational sectors will continue to remain closed adding, “The government knows what is in the best interest of people.” It is pertinent here to mention that the WHO wrote a letter to the Punjab government on Tuesday and lauded the provincial regime’s efforts against the pandemic.
The WHO recommended that for any government that wants to start lifting restrictions, the following six conditions must be met: 1) Disease transmission is under control 2) Health system can “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact” 3) Hot spot risks are minimized in vulnerable places, such as nursing homes 4) Schools, workplaces and other essential places have established 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 The WHO said Pakistan does not meet any of the aforementioned conditions and suggested it to follow two weeks off and two weeks on strategy against coronavirus.