COVID-19 and early responses of Pakistan to mitigate the pandemic: A quick review

Main Article Content



In Pakistan, the first case of COVID-19 was reported on February 26, 2020. As of September 18, 2020, Pakistan had 304,386 confirmed cases, out of which 291,683 patients were discharged, and 6,408 (2%) deaths took place. This narrative aimed to rapidly review Pakistan’s early successes in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, Pakistan did not allow anyone to enter the country from China, the center of the outbreak. National Command Operation Center (NCOC) ordered a lockdown for one month. However, Prime Minister (PM) and NCOC converted it into a Smart Lockdown to minimize the economic losses. Some quick and early initiatives by Pakistani leadership included the formulation of SOPs and initiation of programs like Resource Management System (RMS), Pak Negheyban application, Integrated Disease Information Management System (IDIMS), National helpline-1166, WhatsApp Chatbot (+92300-1111166), Isolated Hospitals, Infectious Treatment Centre, COVID-19 Telehealth Portal, Community Mobilization, Prime Minister's Relief Fund, Ehsaas Program, Smart Lockdowns, and Tiger Force. Early and quick initiatives by Pakistan helped slow down the spread of infection in the country. These initiatives against COVID-19 were also praised by WHO and included Pakistan among countries that effectively control the spread of infection.

Article Details

How to Cite
ALI NAWAZ, MUHAMMAD SALEEM KHAN, MUHAMMAD WAJID, MUHAMMAD ZAMAN, MUHAMMAD IQBAL MAHMOOD, MUHAMMAD TARIQ SHAFI, & AHMAD WAHEED. (2022). COVID-19 and early responses of Pakistan to mitigate the pandemic: A quick review. Sindh University Research Journal - SURJ (Science Series), 54(2).


Abramowitz, A. I., & Webster, S. (2016). The rise of negative partisanship and the nationalization of US elections in the 21st century. Electoral Studies, 41, 12-22. doi:
Ahmed, A. (2022). Smart lockdowns ensured protection of downtrodden people: PM Imran. DAWN. Retrieved from
Bakshy, E., Messing, S., & Adamic, L. A. (2015). Political science. Exposure to ideologically diverse news and opinion on Facebook. Science, 348(6239), 1130-1132. doi:
Brady, W. J., Wills, J. A., Jost, J. T., Tucker, J. A., & Van Bavel, J. J. (2017). Emotion shapes the diffusion of moralized content in social networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114(28), 7313-7318. doi:
CDC. (2020). CDC Confirms Person-to-Person Spread of New Coronavirus in the United States Press Release. Retrieved from
Chan, J. W., Ng, C. K., Chan, Y. H., Mok, T. Y., Lee, S., Chu, S. Y., . . . Li, P. C. (2003). Short term outcome and risk factors for adverse clinical outcomes in adults with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Thorax, 58(8), 686-689. doi:
Chen, N., Zhou, M., Dong, X., Qu, J., Gong, F., Han, Y., . . . Zhang, L. (2020). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet, 395(10223), 507-513. doi:
CMO. (2020). CMO confirms cases of coronavirus in England. Retrieved from
Crossley, G. (2020, january 23). Wuhan lockdown 'unprecedented', shows commitment to contain virus: WHO representative in China. Retrieved from
Dawn. (2020). Troubling projections. Retrieved from
Fransen, K., Haslam, S. A., Steffens, N. K., Vanbeselaere, N., De Cuyper, B., & Boen, F. (2015). Believing in “us”: Exploring leaders’ capacity to enhance team confidence and performance by building a sense of shared social identity. Journal of experimental psychology: applied, 21(1), 89-100. doi:
Golikova, T. (2020). First two persons infected with coronavirus identified in Russia. Retrieved from
GOP. (2020). Pakistan statistics (Publication no. Retrieved September 18, 2020
Gorbalenya, A. E., Baker, S. C., Baric, R. S., de Groot, R. J., Drosten, C., Gulyaeva, A. A., . . . Ziebuhr, J. (2020). Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus: The species and its viruses – a statement of the Coronavirus Study Group. bioRxiv, 937862. doi:
Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D., & Platow, M. J. (2010). The new psychology of leadership: Identity, influence and power: Psychology Press.
Huang, C., Wang, Y., Li, X., Ren, L., Zhao, J., Hu, Y., . . . Cao, B. (2020). Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet, 395(10223), 497-506. doi:
Iyengar, S., Lelkes, Y., Levendusky, M., Malhotra, N., & Westwood, S. J. (2019). The Origins and Consequences of Affective Polarization in the United States. Annual Review of Political Science, 22, 129-146. doi:
Jaffery, R. (2020). Pakistan Struggles to Fight COVID-19. The Diplomat. Retrieved from
Khattak, D. (2020). Pakistan’s Confused COVID-19 Response. The Diplomat. Retrieved from
Lelkes, Y., Sood, G., & Iyengar, S. (2017). The hostile audience: The effect of access to broadband internet on partisan affect. American Journal of Political Science, 61(1), 5-20. doi:
Li, Q., Guan, X., Wu, P., Wang, X., Zhou, L., Tong, Y., . . . Feng, Z. (2020). Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia. N Engl J Med, 382(13), 1199-1207. doi:
NCOC. (2020). Pak Neghayban App.
Nishtar, S. (2020). Ehsaas Emergency Cash.
Noreen, N., Rehman, S. A. U., Naveed, I., Niazi, S. U. K., & Furqan, I. B. (2021). Pakistan's COVID-19 Outbreak Preparedness and Response: A Situational Analysis. Health Security, 19(6), 605-615. doi:
Phelan, A. L., Katz, R., & Gostin, L. O. (2020). The Novel Coronavirus Originating in Wuhan, China: Challenges for Global Health Governance. JAMA, 323(8), 709-710. doi:
PSI. (2020). Brief: ensuring continuation of service delivery and community mobilization during covid-19. Retrieved from
Sharmin, A. S. (2020). ‘Call 1166’: The COVID-19 helpline centre in Pakistan. Retrieved from
Thurber, J. A., & Yoshinaka, A. (2015). American Gridlock: The Sources, Character, and Impact of Political Polarization: Cambridge University Press.
Tribune, T. E. (2020). PM Imran Inaugurates 250-Bed Health Facility In Islamabad. Retrieved from
Tyler, T. R. (2013). Why people cooperate: The role of social motivations: Princeton University Press.
Van Bavel, J. J., Baicker, K., Boggio, P. S., Capraro, V., Cichocka, A., Cikara, M., . . . Druckman, J. N. (2020). Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 460-471. doi:
Van Bavel, J. J., & Pereira, A. (2018). The Partisan Brain: An Identity-Based Model of Political Belief. Trends Cogn Sci, 22(3), 213-224. doi:
Wang, C., Horby, P. W., Hayden, F. G., & Gao, G. F. (2020). A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern. Lancet, 395(10223), 470-473. doi:
Westwood, S. J., Iyengar, S., Walgrave, S., Leonisio, R., Miller, L., & Strijbis, O. (2018). The tie that divides: Cross‐national evidence of the primacy of partyism. European Journal of Political Research, 57(2), 333-354. doi:
WHO. (2020a). A live digital Platform behind the scenes for more effective and transparent country response.
WHO. (2020b). WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19. Retrieved from
WHO. (2020c). Who: "Live from Geneva on the new #coronavirus outbreak. Retrieved from
Worldometer. (2020). Pakistan Coronavirus Cases.