Lahore (Web Desk): The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Head for Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala has suggested that the country doesn't meet any prerequisites for lifting "intermittent lockdown" to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The letter dated June 7 — addressed to Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid —states that the coronavirus has spread to almost all districts in the country, with major cities making up a majority of national cases.
"Government intervention on April 12 detailing social distancing measures, including movement restrictions, closure of schools and businesses, international travel restrictions, and geographical area restrictions were instituted with the aim of limiting the spread of the disease."
However, the partial relaxation of restrictions on May 1, followed by a complete relaxation on May 22, has caused the rate of infection to increase, the letter noted.
According to WHO recommendations, any government that wishes to lift lockdown restrictions must meet a set of conditions. The letter noted that so far, Pakistan has not met any of the conditions which include:
Disease transmission is under control
Health systems can "detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact"
Hot spot risks are minimised in vulnerable places
Schools, workplaces and other essential places should have preventive measures
The risk of importing new cases can be managed
Communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan on Tuesday rose to 108,317 after 4,646 new infections were reported over the past 24 hours.
According to the government's Covid-19 portal, the death toll related to coronavirus has reached 2,172 with 105 fatalities reported during the last 24 hours while at least 35,018 patients have fully recovered from the disease.