Punjab’s successful fight in pandemic
Punjab’s successful fight being the most populated province of Pakistan means that they have to manage their limited resources effectively and Covid-19 has stressed the limited resources that are available in all provinces. This stress is mostly seen upon the medical facilities that are available. The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged world’s best economies to get it under control but it seems like the Punjab government of Pakistan and Pakistan in general has given its best efforts to curb the spread of this potentially fatal virus.
As of 7-Aug-2020 Punjab has 94,223 confirmed cases for Covid-19, with 2,166 deaths and 86,240 recoveries, these total cases and recoveries is from the mid of March when Covid-19 was announced as a pandemic by World Health Organization (W.H.O). Comparing it with Sindh with that has a smaller population and land size compared to Punjab they have more cases around 123,246 cases, with 2259 deaths and 114,965 recoveries. The lower number of cases in Punjab keeping in mind the larger population shows that the Punjab government is doing something right.
Here are the list of some key measures that Punjab implemented to control the virus:
- On March 13th Punjab declared health emergency and following that it implemented travel ban on March 19th and on March 20th Punjab Banned social gatherings.
- On March 25th Punjab also recruited 10,000 doctors to fight the virus and treat the patients of the virus.
- On March 30th a 1000 bed facility was opened in Expo Center Lahore, in order to treat the virus patients.
- On April 9th keeping in mind the financial stress that many people faced due to lock down the Federal government a cash stipend program the ‘Ehsaas Program’ that distributed Rs. 12,000 to deserving families. Under this program in Lahore around 97,000 families were provided with cash.
- Punjab has more isolation medical facilities reserved for Covid patients than any other provinces. There are around 50 isolation facilities and with more than 1000 beds.
- Punjab also had the most beds in the quarantine facilities compared to other provinces with 11,000 beds.
- Also, Punjab tested samples from sewage and pinned the location where there were most virus cases and locked down those locations in order to control the virus after the mishap of Eid-ul-Fitr.
As there are still country wide restrictions on various sectors, Punjab government after the Eid-ul-Fitr disastrous approach of lifting restrictions on the retail sector and not monitoring the SOPs led to a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases across Punjab. After Eid-ul-Fitr in at end of May, Covid-19 cases averaged more than 1700 daily for the month of June. With most deaths and cases reported in month of June which sharply shot up the cases from 30,000 on June 3rd to 80,000 on 3rd July.
Controlled strategy regarding Covid-19
This also put a lot of stress on the medical staff and facilities as many doctors were also exposed to this virus. After June the Punjab Government imposed strict restrictions on businesses and also implemented smart lock down. Moreover, before Eid-ul-Azha on 1st July the government imposed smart lock down of all the markets on 27th July to stop another disaster from occurring. This strategy helped to control the virus as of recently the number of cases increased by merely 270 compared to 2000 last time.
However, as the federal government has announced to open other sectors from 15th August more challenges lays ahead of the Punjab as the fight against this virus is not yet over.