The World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Tedros Adhanom has said that the world can learn from Pakistan in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic. There has been a notable drop in the number of coronavirus cases in the South Asian country and in a media briefing, Adhanom praised the Pakistani government’s strategy in handling the virus. He shared how the country had deployed the infrastructure “built up over many years for polio to combat COVID-19” and appreciated the efforts of community health workers who go door-to-door to vaccinate children for polio.
He said, “They have been utilised for surveillance, contact tracing and care and the result we see is a significant drop in the number of coronavirus cases.”
Pakistan has reported over 300,000 cases till date, with 280,000 recoveries and death toll at 6,370. The former Health Minister of Pakistan Dr Zafar Mirza, who was supervising the country’s COVID-19 response before he resigned in July, tweeted, “Pakistan included among seven countries by WHO Director General- countries that the world can learn from about how to fight future pandemics. Great honour for the people of Pakistan. Alhamdolilah.”
Adhanom also said that other countries including Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Senegal, Italy, Spain and Vietnam had done a good job of fighting the virus due to their previous experiences with SARS, MERS, measles, polio, Ebola, flu and other diseases.
Worldwide, more than 27 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus while over 888,000 have died, since the first cases were identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. During his interaction with the media, Adhanom also warned that this would not be the last pandemic. He said, “History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready – more ready than it was this time.”