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'Ghabrana nahi hai!': Here's everything Pakistan has done so far to fight the coronavirus pandemic

Dawn.com takes a look at what Pakistan — which has 53 confirmed cases — has done to contain the spread of the virus.

Updated 16 Mar, 2020 10:58am

The new coronavirus — COVID-19 — was first confirmed on December 31 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organisation classified COVID-19 as pandemic on March 11. Countries all over the world have taken extraordinary measures to contain the spread of the virus and deal with infected people. Some of these measures include travel bans, urging citizens to self-isolate and closing educational institutions.

Here, Dawn.com takes a look at what Pakistan — which reported its first case on Feb 26 — has done to contain the spread of the virus.

Pre-screening at airports

Screening of Chinese citizens in the country

Punjab government in January sends a team of doctors to screen Chinese nationals.

Flights suspended

Travel and movement restrictions

Testing

Quarantine

Shutting down institutions

A student takes a look at a banner regarding the symptoms and precautions for the coronavirus at an entrance of a university in Rawalpindi on March 14. — AP
A student takes a look at a banner regarding the symptoms and precautions for the coronavirus at an entrance of a university in Rawalpindi on March 14. — AP

Pakistan Super League

The Pakistan Cricket Board gives permission to all international players participating in the tournament to leave over coronavirus fears. All Pakistan Super League matches will now be played in the absence of spectators.

Pakistani cricket teams practice in an empty National Stadium in Karachi on March 13 after the Pakistan Cricket Board announced PSL matches will be played without spectators. — AP
Pakistani cricket teams practice in an empty National Stadium in Karachi on March 13 after the Pakistan Cricket Board announced PSL matches will be played without spectators. — AP

Getting hospitals ready

Sindh

Punjab

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Balochistan

Gilgit-Baltistan

The provincial government declares a health emergency on March 12.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider announces health emergency on March 14.

Other measures

What other countries are doing

Travel bans and flight suspensions

Several countries including the United States, Saudi Arabia, India and Kuwait have restricted movement and banned citizens from countries with a large number of cases from entering.

Quarantine

Italy has put almost a quarter of its citizens under lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, Saudi Arabia has sealed off its Qatif region while other countries such as New Zealand have asked all citizens returning from abroad to self-isolate.

Testing

Countries all around the world have ramped up testing for the coronavirus with South Korea conducting nearly 20,000 tests a day and the United Kingdom increasing its capacity from 1,000 to 10,000 tests a day. Meanwhile, the US has been criticised for not conducting more tests.

Cancelling events

Major international sports events and conferences have been cancelled or postponed to stop the spread of COVID-19 including Serie A football games in Italy, the Premier League in England, the Champions League in Europe, all table tennis tournaments, and the remainder of the Olympic torch relay.

Closing educational institutions

Italy, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ireland and France among other countries have closed educational institutions.

Closing cultural sites

Cultural sites and popular tourist attractions have started closing such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum in France, the Colosseum, Pompeii and the Uffizi Galleries in Italy, all museums and ruins in Greece, Disneyland in the US while theatres and cinemas have been closed in Germany.

Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong especially have been commended for their proactive response to the coronavirus. Taiwan, in particular, started screening arrivals from Wuhan before the first contact case was confirmed. All three places were among the first ones to enforce travel restrictions and prepare their health systems to deal with the new coronavirus.


Header Photo: A security guard tells students that their school is closed by authorities to control the possible spread of coronavirus in Lahore on March 14, 2020. — AP