Islamabad : Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has said that the government’s strategy against the Covid-19 pandemic scientifically correct as well as grounded in the reality of the country.
Dr. Sultan was speaking at a seminar organised by Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) in collaboration with Italian Embassy and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation here Thursday.
Dr. Sultan said that there were three major components of the government’s strategy against Covid-19: first, taking all segments of the society along to have a collective response to the pandemic, second, creating space to have scientifically grounded and statistics-based consultations for
policy input, and third, an all-of-the-country implementation strategy in which no region or segment of the society is left out.
Dr Sultan stated that the government had built a system of accurate and timely testing, extensive coordination among health service providers and providing all the necessary equipment to the hospitals such as increased numbers of beds and oxygen equipment. He added that the government had to retool a vaccination system that was designed for vaccinating children to one that could effectively respond to the challenge of vaccinating adults.
He appreciated the role of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) in maintaining a centralised database of vaccination all across the country.
Expert on infectious diseases from Italy Prof Gloria Taliani shared that there were 225.024781 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide since the start of the pandemic and 4.636153 million worldwide deaths as of Sept 13. She added, however, that over 5.5 billion doses of vaccine had been administered around the world as well. Prof Taliani was of the view that the global response to the pandemic in the form of development and trials of vaccines within months of the onset of the pandemic was quite unprecedented.
Sharing a timeline of the spread and control of Covid-19 in Italy, she emphasised the importance of awareness, management, and vaccination in controlling the pandemic.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr. Nausheen Hamid reiterated the coordinated and people-centric approach of the government in response to the pandemic. She added that although the pandemic posed a serious challenge to a developing country like Pakistan, the government was able to convert that challenge into an opportunity by plugging the gaps in the epidemic response capabilities of the health sector.
Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese said that health was an important component of social life. Therefore, Italy had initiated health diplomacy with Pakistan by assisting the country in the health sector. He underscored the importance of global health collaboration and knowledge-sharing.