Pakistan claims decline in Covid cases, experts say too early to declare victory

(Pic courtesy: Geo News)

New Delhi (NVI): New coronavirus cases in Pakistan have witnessed a decline in the past two weeks, as per local media reports, but health experts in the country have been skeptical, saying that it will be too early to declare a victory against the deadly pandemic that already infected more than 2,50,000 people.

Pakistan government has been claiming that the cases have continued to decline in the past two weeks while giving credit to its “successful” anti-Covid strategy.

Meanwhile, health experts and officials in the country have been claiming the presence of a “non-specific immunity” that is unique to Pakistani population due to their exposure to various vaccines like BCG, Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), as one of the factors slowing down the Covid-19 pandemic rate in Pakistan, reports The News International.

Apart from that, the expert claim that, high humidity in the current monsoon season and a low transmission rate in the peak summer season could also be another factor behind the decline in cases.

Dr Rana Muhammad Safdar, an expert of ’emerging infectious diseases’, was quoted as saying by the newspaper that in addition to producing a specific immunity, all vaccines produced an innate, non-specific immunity in the human beings that prevented them from other pathogens also.

“Our population has been exposed to so many vaccines in their lifetimes, including BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin) vaccine, which is primarily used against tuberculosis and OPV, that they must have strong immune responses against several other pathogens, including the novel coronavirus. This non-specific immunity is playing an important role in slowing down the spread of this virus and reduced mortality, as compared to other countries of the world, in Pakistan,” he told The News.

According to The News, several other leading infectious diseases’ experts and officials also conceded that the percentage of COVID-19 cases had been declining since the start of July 2020 in Pakistan, but they added that nobody knew the exact reasons behind the slowing down of the pandemic.

They said this phenomenon was also being observed in regional countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Iran, except India where positive cases and the deaths were continuously on the rise.

Currently, Pakistan is ranked twelfth in number of Covid-19 cases in the world, and second to India in the region. Pakistan’s confirmed coronavirus tally has now reached 2,59,999 with 5,475 deaths and 1,83,737 recovered so far.

-ARK