ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza has said that Pakistan appreciates its longstanding partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) in health including in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement on Wednesday with reference to the WHO’s letter, the Special Assistant said that the WHO is a UN specialized technical agency on health and they are our long-standing partner in health including in this pandemic which we appreciate.
The Special Assistant said that we understand that it is their role to provide recommendations to member states but understandably theirs is the health-lens whereas governments have to take into account a holistic picture and make decisions on a relative risk assessment basis and this has been the case in Pakistan all along.
Dr. Zafar Mirza said that the incumbent government is pursuing a holistic strategy to combat the Coronavirus. He said that we have made the best sovereign decisions in the best interest of our people.
In addition, he said that we have to make tough policy choices to strike a balance between lives and livelihoods.
Zafar Mirza said that Pakistan has consciously but gradually eased generalized lockdowns but at the same time it has focused on enforcement of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in shops, industries, mosques, and public transport, etc. he said that the mask donning has been made compulsory in the Country.
Along with this, he added that we have developed a robust tracing, testing, and quarantine policy to identify hotspots and cordon off them. Currently, there are more than 700 such smart lockdowns in place.
The Special Assistant said that another plank of our strategy is ramping up of our health system to cater to the growing number of patients.
Dr. Zafar Mirza said that our choice of policies has been guided by the best evidence available about the disease spread and our best assessment of the fast deteriorating socio-economic conditions in the Country.