Pakistan plans to Relieve Coronavirus Curbs with Contagions under Projections
Pakistan is planning to relax coronavirus lockdown limitations as the number of infections and deaths are well below earlier predictions, officials said on Wednesday.
The South Asian nation, which has recorded more than 15,000 cases of COVID-19, including 335 deaths, has already granted exclusions to dozens of sectors to open up over the last few days.
“The fatality numbers are nowhere near the same as we see in other countries,” Planning Minister Asad Umar, who supervises the response to the virus, informed journalists. He stated infections and deaths in Pakistan were below 30-35% lower than projections and, if things persisted this way, the country could open up further in the following days.
Specialists say Pakistan’s low numbers are due to insufficient testing. Currently, Pakistan, a country of more than 207 million people, conducts around 8,000 tests a day. On Wednesday, the state recorded more than 800 positive cases. Experts and administrators say infections will rise in mid-May.
Umar stated that despite the growing numbers, the infection was under control. Still, the financial cost had been “huge” as revenues and exportation had been hit throughout a month-long lockdown. The IMF has predicted that Pakistan’s economy will shrink 1.5% this financial year.
Pakistan a few days ago began a new “Test, Trace and Quarantine” system, which officials respond will allow it to firmly open up commercial and industrial enterprises over the next few weeks without jeopardizing more infections.
Officials at the briefing did confirm their persisted areas of concern – especially the high number of infections in health workers. Zafar Mirza, the top health official, stated at least 480 health workers, including doctors, had been infected.
He added that because of the lockdown and the focus on the coronavirus, various other health programs, such an anti-polio drive, had been affected. Pakistan has also withdrawn restrictions on congregations at mosques for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, commencing doctors to raise the caution on the risk of mass infections. But Mirza said safety methods for mosque gatherings had been worked out between the government and clerics.
As coronavirus cases surpassed the 15,000 mark the country reported a significant number of deaths in a single day. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security Dr. Moeed Yusuf said at a press conference that 26 persons died during the past 24 hours while 44 were in a critical condition.
However, he said the mortality rate was only 2.1 percent in Pakistan as compared to around 7pc in other countries. “Moreover, 80pc of the deceased were over 50 years old, and 70pc of the overall deceased was suffering from some other critical diseases such as cancer, heart problem, and diabetes”, he added.