Covid-19: WHO wants Punjab to impose two-week strict lockdown

n a letter to the Punjab government, the WHO lauded the provincial government’s efforts in response to the pandemic. “Government intervention on April 12, 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 letter said. The WHO said during the lockdown, Pakistan was reporting 1,000 cases per day. However, this number increased after the federal government eased the lockdown in the country. “SOPs need to be strictly enforced to stem the spread of the virus,” the letter said. The WHO recommends that for any government that wants to start lifting restrictions, the following six conditions must be met: disease transmission is under control; health system can detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact; hot spot 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; and the communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal. The WHO strongly recommended that the government adopt two-week off and two-week on strategy as it offers the smallest curve. It also recommended strengthening all public health measures such as quarantine, isolation, physical distancing and contact tracing. Given due consideration to the test positivity rate, developing testing capacity beyond 50,000 tests/day is extremely important, it said.

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