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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Is Indian COVID crisis spilling into Pakistan?

Can Pakistan also get the Indian COVID crisis? Nepal is facing a deadly Covid wave similar to India, doctors warn. A Nepali doctor said, "the situation is out of control. We are in a helpless situation."

India’s neighbors are witnessing an increase in COVID-19 cases. Pakistan, which has fewer visitors from India has been affected lesser by the Indian COVID crisis but Nepal, Bangladesh, and Srilanka have seen a sharp rise in infections.

The Indian COVID crisis has prompted authorities in these countries to close borders and restrict travel. However, some of these borders are porous, with many people crossing back and forth every day.

Scientists are examining whether a new “double mutant” coronavirus variant is driving India’s current outbreak.

Read more: Pakistan can get the dangerous Indian COVID situation

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the variant, called B.1.617 and described as a “super mutation,” was initially detected in India and has now been found in at least 17 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The South African and Brazillian variant have also reached Pakistan’s Sindh province, said provincial health minister Dr. Azra Pechuho.

India is continuing to set daily COVID case records. On April 29, India reported another global record of 379,257 new COVID-19 cases and 3645 deaths in the past 24 hours, while experts are saying that the real numbers may be higher than the official counts.

Weekly infections in Nepal are 14 times higher than at the beginning of April. Although not at the same level as in Nepal, cases have also increased in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Nepal is recording 4000 to 5000 daily cases, even though its total population is around only 26 million. Currently, Bangladesh’s total caseload stands at over 757,000.

However, like India, there are issues with underreporting of cases and the numbers also depend on the testing capacity in each country.

The number of vaccine doses given in those countries is also low when compared with developed nations. For example, the UK has administered 71 doses per 100 people. On the other hand, Pakistan has only vaccinated a little over 2 million citizens that is 1 percent of its total population.

Read more: #Resign_PM_Modi cry Indians as COVID peak yet to come

On Friday, Pakistan carried out 48,740 tests and recorded 4696 positive cases with a 9.63 positivity rate. It recorded 146 deaths, according to National Command and Operation Center (NCOC).

Pakistan also announced restrictions on travel. NCOC tweeted says, “In view of prevailing global and regional disease trends, Pakistan has decided to reduce inbound international travel from 5 May to 20th May. International flights to Pakistan will be reduced to 20% during this period.”