The global pandemic has been a trying time for countries the world over. The virus bought with it new and unprecedented challenges that soon proved insurmountable for even the world’s greatest powers. To this day, the USA has been struggling with the virus as a mix of bad governance and lack of cooperation between state and federal governments has left the country and its citizens vulnerable. The WHO issued clear guidelines for countries to follow, and at the end of the day, enforcing these guidelines was up to the respective governments of these countries. One country that choose to neglect the advice from the WHO out of economic necessity and implement its own plan is Pakistan.
At the start of the Global Pandemic, Pakistan, like most other countries, recognized the dangers that the virus brought with and enforced a complete lockdown. The prime minister and his government soon pointed out that given Pakistan’s condition as a resource strained country shutting down the country’s economy for a prolonged period was unsustainable. Thus, against the WHO’s advice, the government lifted the lockdown and enforced what they termed as a smart lockdown. Initially, this was met by extreme skepticism both locally and abroad. Over time, it appears that Pakistan’s nuanced approach towards the virus has fared better compared to even to the most developed of nations
A more in-depth look at Pakistan’s response reveals that two factors have been the main reasons why the country has had considerable success despite its strained economy. The first of these factors is the data-driven decision-making carried out by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC). The informed decisions taken by the NCOC in implementing the smart lockdown has meant that Pakistan has succeeded in reducing both cases and deaths across the board. Many experts warned that with the arrival of Eid-ul-Adha, the cases in Pakistan were sure to spike again. Still, thanks to the decision-making mentioned above, the NCOC measures in place ensured that the forewarned spike was never to be.
The second factor that has been instrumental in Pakistan’s seemingly successful response to the pandemic has been its extraordinarily brave healthcare workers. These workers have put their lives on the line by putting themselves on the frontlines. Their continued efforts and personal sacrifices have borne fruit and now, many hospitals are reporting that they have room in their wards for new patients. One considerable success story among these hospitals has been that of the National Hospital in Lahore.
From the early days of the pandemic to its present, the National Hospital in Lahore has consistently maintained an unyielding standard of healthcare that has enabled the hospital to brave the virus’s worst days. Throughout the pandemic, the hospital made sure to follow the proper guidelines in dealing with the virus. A separate ward was erected to deal with and quarantine infected patients. This ward was kept secluded from the other departments to ensure containment of the virus. The ward had a dedicated team of brave hospital workers who put their lives on the line for their patients. Through these workers’ efforts, the hospital managed to maintain a recovery rate of more than 95% throughout the pandemic, and it will surely continue with this trend. National Hospital, at the time of writing, has successfully eradicated the virus from its premises and has zero active cases. Months of strenuous hard work and detailed plans of action have resulted in an outcome that seemed impossible a short time ago. It is the dedication of the professional team at National Hospital which has enabled Pakistan to emerge as one of the few countries leading the world in pandemic response.
Pakistans’ success story with the global is by no means a fluke. The success of hospitals like National coupled with the government’s informed policies is proof that none of the good fortunes headed Pakistan’s way are by chance