Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday commended the performance of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and the Ehsaas team for their effective and coordinated response during the COVID-19 pandemic, which gained recognition by UK-based ‘The Economist’ in its report.
The prime minister in a tweet appreciated the three departments of the government and expressed gratitude to Allah Almighty for His blessings.
“Congratulations to NCOC members, Ehsaas team & State Bank of Pakistan for effective response to COVID-19 pandemic; and above all thanks to the mercy of Almighty Allah,” he tweeted.
Congratulations to NCOC members, Ehsaas team & State Bank of Pakistan for effective response to Covid 19 pandemic; and above all thanks to the mercy of Almighty Allah. pic.twitter.com/C8vQP4D9ku
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 7, 2021
In its Global Normalcy Index, The Economist magazine had ranked Pakistan at number three out of 50 countries that performed well in controlling the COVID-19 spread.
The report showed that Pakistan’s neighbors, India and China, were ranked 48 and 19 with scores of 46.5 and 72.9 respectively. The United States stood at 20th in the ranking.
Pakistan ranked 3rd
The Economist’s ‘normalcy index’ focuses on how better the countries are returning to their pre-pandemic levels, by grading each country using eight indicators: Time not at home, retail, office use, public transport, road traffic, flights, cinema, and sports attendance.
According to the report, a rise was witnessed in global normalcy during March 2020 due to several countries imposing lockdowns.
With ‘100’ set as the pre-pandemic level of activity, Pakistan ranked third with 84.4 out of 100. While Hong Kong topped the list with a ranking of 96.3 while New Zealand was ranked second with 87.8.
In the category of ‘office use’, ‘retail’, ‘public transport’ and ‘time not spent at home, Pakistan ranked over 100. However, the categories of ‘cinema’ and ‘flights’ witness a low score.
NCOC under Dr. Faisal Sultan and Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has taken some measures which have been appreciated.
The Prime Minister himself has said that the government’s decision to not impose full lockdown would have only acted as a way to further worsen the economic situation of the workers in the country.
Another commendable step was taken by the government by opening the construction sector, allowing the lowest sector of the economy to find employment.
Even when the whole region was hit by continuous waves of the virus, Pakistan remained relatively safe.
The vaccination drive by the country was slower, but the graph is suddenly rising with the government running constant awareness campaigns and facilitating all people effectively.
According to the NCOC website, 3,530,044 people have been fully vaccinated as of 7th June 2021, and 14,698,191 have been partially vaccinated.
While the country has surfed smoothly through the earlier waves, the recent Delta variant is yet another test for NCOC in the future.
In fact, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday confirmed the presence of different variants of coronavirus, including the delta (Indian), beta (South African), and alpha (UK) variants, in Pakistan and detection of their cases in May and June.
However, the impact of this ranking on the “Global Normalcy Index” is immense. This is because this portrays a positive message to the world about efficient governance in Pakistan at a time of crisis.
This is especially the case compared to many Scandinavian nations, which have much more public funds and better health infrastructure.
APP with additional input from GVS desk