The Response of the Federal and the Provincial Governments Has Been Below Average As 111 More Lose The Battle Against Coronavirus
Deaths during the last three days were 111, 85, and 63. The situation seems to be getting out of hand as the infection rate is also on a rise. People are not taking any precautions as coronavirus runs rampant.
— Ministry of National Health Services, Pakistan (@nhsrcofficial) December 26, 2020
The Ministry of National Health Sciences reports different statistics than obtained from private channels. The government is also in denial of a new strain of the virus as passengers from the UK are reaching Pakistan through different routes. Flights from the UK were banned by the central government in a press release.
The NCOC & Civil Aviation Authority have provided more details about restrictions on travel from the UK announced earlier. Pakistani passport-holders on long-term visas, flight crews, & diplomatic officials of the British High Commission can enter Pakistan under certain protocols pic.twitter.com/lNOvxZVIyA
— Ministry of National Health Services, Pakistan (@nhsrcofficial) December 23, 2020
The National Command and Operations Centre is also advising people to avoid gatherings. Social visits and family get-togethers should also be avoided. Moreover, the NCOC urges the community as a whole to restrict gatherings on Christmas and New year events.
Deteriorating Health and Increasing Coronavirus Statistics
New infections and the ever-increasing death rate in the country are getting more worrisome by the day. Some 80 to 100 deaths and new cases ranging between 2,000 and 3,000 on average are being reported each day. Unfortunately, testing, which peaked at around 48,000 tests in 24 hours about 10 days ago, has fallen to below 40,000 per day. Why this is so, and why the government is unable to rapidly expand testing, is a mystery. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Pakistan’s daily testing has been abysmally low. For a country of 200m people, our per capita testing rate is among the lowest in the region. At one point this year, the authorities explained away low testing by saying that citizens were not testing enough, which — if true — points to a failure of public health messaging.
The collective response of both federal and provincial authorities has been hugely disappointing in the second wave. A far cry from the success story during the first peak, Pakistan is hurtling towards an abyss as it sleepwalks its way into a crisis that could see its healthcare system collapse.
At the center, the authorities have utterly failed to convey the seriousness of the pandemic to the public. The Sindh government, of which key members have tested positive, continues to irresponsibly partake in the PDM’s public rallies. In KP, the cases and positivity ratio are climbing as the provincial government ignores WHO advice for a full 15-day lockdown in Peshawar, and opts for ‘smart’ lockdowns instead. The Punjab government’s at-home isolation policy, too, is in tatters as the province has the most coronavirus cases and deaths.
In a nutshell, the whole society is passing the hat around with the blame. The federal government, the Punjab government, and the KPK government are all stressing their fashionable word, a smart lockdown. They are in denial of the new virus strain and are perhaps blind towards the increasing death count.