Facing the Threat of COVID-19 in Pakistan: A Nation’s Dilemma
In this article, we assess the resources, strategies, laboratory testing, awareness campaigns, and different treatment plans initiated by the government of Pakistan.
A comprehensive literature search was performed using Medline/PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Google Scholar and official websites of Government of Pakistan and international organizations to identify empirical literature published in English from 2019 to June 2020.
It was not until the end of December 2019 that the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was discovered in Hubei province, China, with Wuhan the epicenter of it, sending the nation into an 11-week lockdown. It was the first of its kind and never seen before; hence, based on its novelty, the Chinese authorities named it novel coronavirus (2019-nCOV). Until January 23, 2020, there were only 17 cases in Wuhan, which surged to around 60,000 on February 16, 2020, with 2000 deaths. The World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic on January 30, 2020. Pakistan reported its first case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in February in Karachi. At the time, we did not realize the threat we were facing, and with even fewer resources at our disposal, it would turn out to be a major disaster in the coming days in Pakistan.
The COVID-19 crisis will likely have both short-term and long-term consequences for the general population, healthcare workers, and patients alike. But we need to get ahead of ourselves and come out on top for only not our survival, but also the survival of our population and healthcare system.
Murad Habib Muhammad Abbas