PAKISTAN’S RESPONSE TO COVID: A COMMENDABLE FRAMEWORK

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ISLAMABAD, NOV 24 /DNA/ – Of all the countries confronted with the pandemic, Pakistan has made some seriously commendable efforts to deal with COVID, mainly through the creation of the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC); an institute which adopted a phased approach to effectively attend to the health emergency, said Professor Gloria Taliani, Expert on infectious diseases at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

She was addressing a gathering at the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS), Islamabad. Sharing a timeline of the spread and control of Covid-19 in Italy, she emphasised the importance of awareness, management, and vaccination in controlling the pandemic.

Reflecting on her experience(s) from Italy, Professor Taliani commented that a significant part of dealing with the pandemic was to ensure successful administration of the vaccine. In that, she said that as of 17 November 2021, a total of 7.370.902.499 vaccine doses had been administered world over.

Discussing the Italian instance, Professor Taliani said that while Italy had some lessons to learn, it was doing substantially well in the face of a pandemic which seems to only evolve further into more sophisticated variants. She added that Italy was currently confronting the fourth wave of Coronavirus and that the mortality rate had substantially decreased too.

Expressing her concern over some of the countries where people had not even received their first shot of the vaccine, Professor Taliani said that governments needed to realise the onus upon them in ensuring healthy livelihoods.

In Europe, she said, the Covid-19 positivity ratio was on the rise. In Italy the fourth wave was however, less powerful than in other European countries thanks to the shield of the high number of vaccinations (76.7% of the total immunized population, compared to 65% on average in the International Organization for Cooperation and Development (OCED)).

In response to a question on the seeming end to this post –Covid phase during the Q/A session, Professor Taliani said that  the virus is here to stay and will only keep evolving unless the world comes up with a permanent solution for it.

Meanwhile, she said, that the children born during this time will be immune to battling Covd since birth, normalising it as much as seasonal cough and flue. However, this did not mean that world was free to let go off all precautionary measures. She added that the idea of getting both shots of the vaccine and becoming immune to Covid was clearly a misperception among people which must be corrected and that precautionary measures had to be accepted as the new normal now.=DNA

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