The initial polar public perception has now been transformed into unipolar perception in favor of smart lockdowns. He further remarked that countries with similar socio-economic infrastructure have not fared well, in addition to countries where federal structures have been devolved: SAPM on Health
ISLAMABAD, OCTOBER 21, 2020: There is already a slight but definitive rise in COVID-19 cases, but the second wave, the so-called “winter pandemic”, can be avoided with the right efforts and precautions. The threat of COVID is ever-present, and with respiratory diseases traditionally gaining momentum in the winter, caution is ever more necessary.
These remarks were made by Dr. Faisal Sultan, the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister
(SAPM) on Health while speaking at the research launch of the report “Pakistan’s Fight against
COVID-19” by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) in Islamabad.
He added that the initial polar public perception has now been transformed into unipolar
perception in favor of smart lockdowns. He further remarked that countries with similar socio-
economic infrastructure have not fared well, in addition to countries where federal structures
have been devolved.
Regarding the vaccine, he said that if and when available, Pakistan will prioritize subsets of the
population first, such as those at high risk and frontline workers. We have to carefully allocate
resources for vaccination as Pakistan does not have the sufficient resources to invest in all the
global vaccination efforts. The advantage Pakistan has is that our polio vaccination teams can
quickly and efficiently inoculate the population, though unlike polio, it will not be a
simultaneous, mass effort.
The CRSS report states that Pakistan has, against all forecasts and odds, bent the COVID-19
curve in its favor. Broadly speaking, the creation of a central mechanism for all coordination,
collation, decision-making and implementation in the form of the NCOC, piggybacking on the
polio surveillance network, and dramatically ramping up healthcare infrastructure resulted in
Pakistan’s strong response to the pandemic.
Despite the demonstrable success of the curbing mechanisms, this is no time to celebrate or
drop our collective guard, said the SAPM. The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is very real and
ever-present. Continued caution and stringent adherence to COVID-19 SOPs are crucial to
ensure the current situation stays under control. Without vigilance from every member of the
general public, and continued pressure from the government, this disease could spread easily
and wreak havoc.