COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and here in Canada we are witnessing an alarming uptick in new cases. While the coronavirus is spreading rapidly across the world, analysts and social media commentators are discussing the significant decline in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan.
Now, a new research report has reportedly explained the reasons for this decline. Oxford University Press’s Journal of Public Health has published a research report by infectious disease specialist Samreen Kulsoom Zaidi, Faiza Rizwan, Quratulain Riaz, Asma Siddiqui, Shabnam Khawaja, Mehjabeen Imam, Arshi Naz, Samra Waheed, Tahir Shamsi, Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in residents of Karachi—challenges in acquiring herd immunity for COVID 19, Journal of Public Health.
The research report states that by July 2020, 40% of the population in Karachi was infected with the coronavirus, while 90 per cent of those affected showed no symptoms of the disease.
According to the report, the development of immunity against the virus in Karachi has resulted in a significant reduction in new Covid-19 cases, while the death rate has also remained low, which was also acknowledged by the WHO.
According to the study, a total of 1675 samples were received from three groups of the population. The percentage positivity for industrial employees was high (50.3%) for HCW (13.2%) and community population (34%). The total percentage for positive antibody results was ~36%.
The study raises the possibility that if 36% of the adult population of Karachi is supposed to be seropositive, then it can be hypothesized that in the next 2–3 months ~60% of the general population will become seropositive. This assumption or theory if proven right then it will reduce the chance of the second wave in Karachi and increase the possibility of acquiring herd immunity.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Kulsoom said, “From July to September, 60 per cent of the population in Karachi has a clear chance of developing antibodies against the coronavirus as there are various viral infections in the country, including Karachi due to which the majority of the people have developed immunity.”
She said, “If antibodies were made in 60 to 70% of the population, the country would be safe from the second expected wave of coronavirus after which a vaccine would not be required.”
Pakistan has won praises from WHO, China and UNGA in terms of how it has managed the current pandemic under the leadership of its visionary Prime Minister Imran Khan.
As of September 18, 2020, Pakistan has reported 304,386 cases, and its daily case count is much less than neighbouring India where more than 90,000 cases are being recorded daily.
Cover Photo: just life /shutterstock.com
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