Health

WHO lists Pakistan among 7 countries world can learn from ‘to fight future pandemics’

New Delhi: Amid the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak killing lakhs of people so far, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed Pakistan among seven countries saying that world can learn from them to fight future pandemics.

In comparison to other countries, Pakistan has shown much better results in fighting with the deadly virus by implementing various measure including smart lockdowns and herd immunity, thus contributing to maintain the low COVID rate in the country.

“Today our ‘smart lockdown’ strategy has proved to be successful and numerous nations are following the vision outlined by Prime Minister Imran Khan,” Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi had briefed the media earlier.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, mentioned the seven countries while speaking at the media briefing and said that other countries dealing with the deadly virus can take lesson from them in order to deal with the pandemic. These countries include Pakistan, Italy, Thailand, Mongolia, Mauritius and Uruguay.

According to the Director General, “Pakistan has used the infrastructure it developed in its fight against polio to tackle Covid-19.”

He said: “community health workers, previously used to vaccinate children for polio, have been redeployed for contact tracing and monitoring.”

Similarly, Thailand has benefited from 40 years of health system strengthening, as mentioned by Dr Tedros. “A well-resourced medical and public health system is supported by strong leadership. Coupled with 1 million village health volunteers, and strong communication, the nation has built trust and compliance and confidence among the general population,” he said.

Italy was one of the first countries to experience a large outbreak outside of China, said Dr Tedros. It “took hard decisions based on the evidence and persisted with them”. Unity and solidarity, along with the dedication of health workers, helped bring the outbreak under control, he explained.

Mongolia also reacted quickly. It activated its State Emergency Committee in January and didn’t report a case until January, and still has no reported deaths.

Mauritius used previous experience with contact-tracing and a swift response to overcome high-risk issues – high population density, high rate of non-communicable diseases and lots of international travellers.

Uruguay has one of Latin America’s most ‘robust and resilient’ health systems in Latin America, explained Dr Tedros. Sustainable investments in public health were built on political consensus, he added.

Dr Tedros added that there are many other countries that have done well. “From Japan to New Zealand and Vietnam, many countries have fared better because of lessons learned during previous outbreaks of disease, such as SARS or Ebola.”

He also advised that people should learn the lessons as this pandemic is teaching us, thus making us aware to remain vigil afterwards.”This will not be the last pandemic,” he told the media briefing.

“History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready – more ready than it was this time.”

According to Worldometer, there are 28,329,707 COVID infections globally present and 913,931 have lost their life since its outbreak in December 2019.

 

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