Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Pakistan going for COVID-19 exit strategy: Report

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ISLAMABAD, May 7 (DNA) – With carrot and stick policy, Pakistan COVID-19 exit strategy pivoting on gradual resumption of markets, home isolation and smart sampling is all set to come into force.

 

It is programmed to restart economic engine and restore social activities blown to smithereens over the last two months of lockdown in the length and breadth of the country, says a report published by Gwadar Pro on Thursday.

COVID-19 exit strategy is susceptible to get reversed if people do not act in conformity with set guidelines and pandemic runs amok. It will be further unfolding in phases exercising prudence and pragmatism.

 

Ideally, in pursuance of new policy, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and KPK, AJK and GB are likely to be in lockstep with the federal government. However, they will have complete freedom to tweak their line of actions as per their local dynamics, infection rate, healthcare system, market demand and economic needs.

It may be remembered that all is subject to public discipline and spirit in compliance with various SOPs laid down to blunt the efficacy of the deadliest coronavirus that has already sent the entire world in tailspin.

COVID-19 exit strategy entails 13 SOPs to effectively fight the disease. As per SOPs for home isolation asymptomatic persons (confirmed on PCR), and patients with mild symptoms, of age less than 60 years and without volatile health conditions relating to lung and heart disease, renal failure or may be looked after at home.

 

They say that patient living alone must not be allowed for home-isolation, proper education about personal hygiene should be given.

They underlined the need to observe hand hygiene and protective mask in totality. They suggest to disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the designated room for isolation daily with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution and clean and disinfect bathroom and toilet surfaces at least once daily.

Special Instructions are for person in isolation to stay away from elderly people, pregnant women, children and persons with co-morbidities within the household, avoid social / religious gathering. Home isolation SOPs ask for repeat testing at day 10 of isolation and finally to end isolation, a previously tested positive patient should have two negative tests.

Meanwhile 20-point SOPs for mosques being followed in Ramazan-ul-Mubarak will remain in force later.

 

New COVID-19 exit strategy involves also SOPs on the burial of coronavirus deceased people, SOPs on social distancing, SOPs on the treatment and clinical management of corona patients, SOPs for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits by health workers at the federal and provincial levels, SOPs for purchases, the use of masks, and business activities to protect themselves from the disease, SOPS for construction industry, SOPS for allied markets.

The federal cabinet also announced relaxation in lockdown gradually after May 9 to help restart economic engine to allow formal and informal working class to earn their livelihood.

Given the coronavirus exit strategy, provinces have also come up with their own restoration an and extension plans. Balochistan has aspired to reopen business but extended the lockdown till May 19, according to a notification issued by provincial Home and Tribal Affairs Department.

 

“The looming threat of coronavirus spread still exists and the restrictions on social distancing and precautionary measures are still required to be put in place for (the) safety of human lives,” read the notification.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has been flexing its muscle to get rid of shutdown. Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said during a meeting with a delegation of small traders’ association of the provincial capital that government was considering reopening business under a schedule and subject to implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Under burgeoning pressure of the business and trade community, Punjab government has decided to further ease the lockdown ahead of Eidul Fitr, but with strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) devised to maintain social distancing to avoid further spread of the coronavirus disease.

 

Sindh government has also softened its stance to ease lockdown restriction before Eid, annual traditional religious gathering observed by Muslim at the end of Ramazan.

In order to make COVID-19 exit strategy, government has also formed Volunteer Tiger Force comprising total strength of 994194 till file of story.

It merits mentioning that along with unveiling of the coronavirus exit strategy, Pakistan is expected to see the number of COVID-19 cases peak around the end of June, the government’s planning minister revealed.

 






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