Islamabad: In a telephone conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bill Gates acknowledged his government’s smart lockdown strategy saying it has worked effectively against the coronavirus.
The strategy not only prevented the spread of virus further but also protected the livelihoods of hundreds and thousands of the poor people of Pakistan, Bill, the Co-chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said.
Pakistan’s smart lockdown acknowledgement by an internationally known philanthropist came only a day after the United Nations General Assembly’s President-elect Volkan Bozkir wrapped up his visit to Pakistan showering praise on the country for setting a ‘good example’ in battle against coronavirus.
Khan briefed Gates about the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan with considerable reduction in new cases and the fatality rate.
Gates also expressed his satisfaction over the restarting of a polio vaccination campaigns across the country with all the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) strictly in place.
More than 263,000 recovered
Pakistan on Wednesday reported a total of 263,193 patients recovering from coronavirus (1,947 in last 24 hours) since the outbreak of COVID-19 back in February. This shows 92.1 per cent recovery rate against the virus.
The number of active cases of coronavirus has also dropped to 16,599 and during the last twenty-four hours.
Pakistan’s total tally of coronavirus cases on Wednesday was 285,921 (730 in the last 24 hours).
In the same period 17 deaths were caused due to coronavirus reporting the total number of fatalities so far 6,129.
According to the National Health Ministry’s dashboard during the last 24 hours 20,631 tests were conducted and out of that number, only 730 were reported positive. Pakistan’s total number of tests now exceed 2 million ie. 2,186,442.
SOPs for educational institutions
The Punjab government has issued health guidelines and SOPs for respiratory etiquettes, physical (social) distancing and hand hygiene before resuming educational activities from Sept 15.
According to the notification issued by the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare:
•All indoor games, swings, slides and other sports activities are banned in educational institutions.
•There will be no seminars, speech competitions, outdoor sports and tournaments.
•Teachers and students will have to wear face masks and morning assemblies are also banned.
•Vans and pick-ups used for pick-and-drop service will leave 50 percent of seats vacant in order to maintain social distancing.
•30pc of students are allowed to stay in hostels.
•All the staff and students will also have to wash hands and educational institutes will ensure availability of soap and sanitizer.
•Face mask/cover should remain intact while talking to others especially when safe distance is not observed; removal of mask may cause spread of droplets and pose a risk for virus transmission.
•Students should be educated and trained on mandatory compliance to face cover with arm fold, tissue or handkerchief while sneezing o, coughing.
•Students should be advised not to shake hands or hug other students
•Line and social distance discipline should be implemented for entry and leaving school or class rooms. Ensure 6 feet inter-student distance all the time.
•Schools with large number of students should use multiple gates for entry and exit to ensure safe distancing and avoid crowd.