Prime Minister Imran Khan talking about the difference in COVID-19 response between India and Pakistan said that India made the same mistake that opposition parties wanted him to make.
He said that in a country where twenty-five percent of the population earns wages daily it is impossible to lock it down. He said that the lockdown would not have worked if it was implemented in only certain areas and other areas did not adhere to it. Imposing lockdown in densely populated areas and makeshift communities was impossible.
Opposition parties were wrong about COVID-19: PM Khan
Opposition parties, even the media was pressurizing him to impose a complete lockdown, following the model of Europe, he said. “But our societies are completely different.”
If he had succumbed to the pressure, Pakistan would’ve been in a much worse position that India is today.
Indian Prime minister Modi imposed a lockdown on the entire country with a four-hour notice. He simply copied the Europian style of tackling COVID-19 without regard for the differences that exist between the societies.
According to the news site, ‘Scroll.in’ India outstrips other countries in the South Asia region, with a Covid-19 caseload that is 13 times that of Bangladesh and 15 times of Pakistan.
Pakistani cases on the downturn
The cases in Pakistan have been on the downturn after peaking in mid-June. Pakistan hit nearly 7,000 new cases a day. That has crashed to 330 for September 8. In the same period, however, India shot up by 9 times, going from around 10,000 new cases a day in mid-June to nearly 90,000 new cases on September 8 –the highest in the world.
— Deputy Commissioner Sargodha (@DC_Sgd) September 14, 2020
India’s total lockdown tried to trap workers in the cities. The attempt, however, failed spectacularly. So massive was the migration from the cities, that some described it as the biggest movement of people on foot since Partition.
NCC central to pandemic success
With no work, in India workers migrated back to their villages. But in Pakistan, the lockdown was lax enough that workers still found work. And so there was barely any movement back to the villages said Anjum Altaf a Pakistani economist.
Altaf, therefore, argues that when the virus came to the big cities in Pakistan, it stayed there. But in India, the policy response inadvertently pushed it out into the villages.
<358> Pakistan included among 7 countries by WHO Director General – countries that world can learn from about how to fight future pandemics. Great honor for the people of Pakistan. Alhamdolilah 🙏. https://t.co/33rb8avZA6
— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) September 10, 2020
Prime Minister Imran also further explained that the NCC (National Coordination Committee) was central to the success of the response. The decision to not impose a strict lockdown, smart lockdowns, was taken by the committee and by concentrating on the hotspots on the outbreak, the government kept the economy going.
GVS News Desk