In an interview with Axios, PM Imran Khan said that the country’s internationally lauded campaign against the Covid Pandemic was successful due to the government’s decision to implement smart lockdowns.
Jonathan Swan, a reporter for Axios, asked the Prime Minister, “You have done objectively, vastly better than the United States with Covid, Why?”
Pakistan’s prime minister attributes some of his country’s relative success in mitigating coronavirus spread to opting not to impose a total lockdown, instead just in hot spots:
— Axios (@axios) June 20, 2021
The Prime Minister replied that there only so many things one can control. As a religious man, he believes some things can only be left up to God while man can do what he thinks best.
Upon realizing the situation around the World, he said, “there was a big temptation in Pakistan by all other politicians, leaders, opposition that we should clamp down, total lockdown.”
However, the situation soon got out of hand, primarily due to the country’s daily wagers. 70% of the country’s workers are part of the informal economy. They get paid either on a daily or weekly wage system depending on if they can find work.
These people started getting restless and were slowly becoming aggressive, “You cannot lock down hungry people.” That is when the country took its most practical decision.
It ended the country’s total shutdown and started implementing smart lockdowns. “We had this control and command centers, where we accumulated daily data.” The Pakistan army got involved as well as all the provinces.
The daily data was then analyzed by infection specialists who were monitoring the whole thing. Using their analysis, we would identify Covid hotspots, which were then put under lockdown.
In Pakistan, the population satisfaction rate with the government in terms of dealing with Covid is 73%, whereas the global satisfaction level stands at 52%.