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