LAHORE: The World Health Organisation has written a letter to the Punjab government warning against lifting lockdown in the province.
The WHO has set six conditions for any government to lift restrictions, which are as follows:
- Disease transmission is under control
- Health systems can ‘detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact’
- Hotspot risks are minimized in vulnerable places, such as nursing homes
- Schools, workplaces and other essential places have established preventive measures
- The risk of importing new cases ‘can be managed’
- Communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal
“As of today, Pakistan does not meet any of the pre-requisite conditions for opening the lockdown. For instance, the current reproductive time (Rt) is >1,” said the health body.
Pakistan has been ranked among the top 10 countries around the globe in reporting the highest number of new cases. To that effect, Pakistan needs to take strategic decisions to either tighten or loosen lockdown restrictions viewing public health measures while ensuring economic prosperity, human rights and food security.
“The difficult decisions will require the need to balance response directly to COVID-19 which includes intermittent lockdowns of targeted areas (district, towns, section of the town or village) as a first option and should be dealt on priority basis,” the WHO said.