Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Monday, called upon the World Health Organization (WHO) to play its role in engaging member states to remove COVID-19 related travel restrictions for Pakistan and other developing countries and to work towards a data-driven system of non-discriminatory travel rules.
The prime minister held a video conference with Director General WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom.
The prime minister observed that travel restrictions imposed by the developed countries in the wake of COVID-19 could further exacerbate economic difficulties of developing countries struggling to mitigate adverse economic impact of the pandemic, PM office media wing in a press release said.
While noting progress made by Pakistan in containing the spread of virus, WHO appreciated the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan in fighting the pandemic.
The prime minister appreciated the support extended by WHO to the international community including Pakistan to fight COVID-19.
He also highlighted Pakistan’s strategy of deploying scientific and data driven interventions as well as rapid upgrades of healthcare facilities while attempting to maintain a balance between life and livelihood that had yielded positive results with a current downward trajectory in the spread of pandemic.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom said that WHO was working to suggest COVID-19 related travel guidelines to help the international community in making these decisions. The Director-General appreciated Pakistan’s efforts and wrote on Twitter that WHO is glad to see that cases in Pakistan have been in decline since early June and appreciated Pakistan’s strong surveillance efforts to fight the pandemic.
Pakistani Government had introduced the concept of “Smart Lockdowns”, a scheme in which hotspots qualify when cases reach more than 1.5 cases per thousand. The scheme has proved effective in Pakistan as compared to a total lockdown that other countries had imposed.
The country recorded 2,691 new cases over the past 24 hours compared to an average of 5,000 cases per day in May and June. Pakistan’s neighbour India has reported more than 23,000 new cases during the past 24 hours.
Like many countries, the global playbook of containing the virus had proved futile in Pakistan. Pakistan’s daily coronavirus tally dropped to below 3,000 for the first time after a months-long surge in the pandemic, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.