Pakistan lifts restrictions amid decreasing Covid-19 cases

Islamabad, Aug 10 (efe-epa).- Pakistan on Monday reopened almost all economic sectors that had been shut to check the spread of the novel coronavirus following a decrease in the number of cases and deaths caused by Covid-19.

Restaurants, parks, gyms, cinema halls, and public and air transport will resume regular activity after five months of restrictions due to the pandemic.

However, they will need to apply several preventive measures, such as maintaining safe physical distance, wearing masks and reducing the number of people gathered at a place at a given time.

On the other hand, schools and wedding venues are not expected to reopen until Sep.15.

Pakistan, with a population of 207 million, has so far recorded 284,518 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 6,097 deaths.

The number of cases and deaths have been declining in the country after it reached its peak in mid-June, when 153 deaths were reported in a day. In the last 24 hours, there have been 539 fresh cases and 15 deaths.

The government has attributed the improvement in situation to its “smart lockdown” strategy, where only those streets or neighborhoods were quarantined where outbreaks of the coronavirus were recorded.

The strategy was adopted after the government lifted its six-week country-wide lockdown in May due to the critical economic situation in a country where a large section of the people are poor.

However, medical professionals have not found a clear explanation for the improvement in the situation even though the country was expected to register a larger number of cases.

A study by Imperial College of London in June warned that Pakistan could record 80,000 deaths by August if it did not impose strict lockdown measures. The government itself had estimated that the total number of cases could reach cross one million by the end of July.

“There are no certain reasons why corona(virus) went from Pakistan and why not from other countries,” the secretary general of Pakistan Medical Association, Qaiser Sajjad, told EFE.

Sajjad said that maybe it was because Pakistanis have a strong immune system due to poor health conditions in the country and perhaps because the strain of the virus was weaker than in other countries.

“I think only 10 percent of the people followed SOPs (standard operating procedure, such as maintaining physical distance and wearing masks),” he stressed. EFE-EPA


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