Thought Provoking Statistics: Is Pakistan Relatively Insusceptible to Coronavirus?

Novel Coronavirus has proven to be the most inscrutable and malevolent predicament of the modern era. This virus has been on a path of rage since the beginning of the year 2020, crippling the mightiest of forces in its path due to its incomprehensible and sinister nature.

In late January this year, the virus started spreading past the borders of China. By mid March, the number of cases began on a steep climb and as of today, the total number of cases world wide is just north of 2.7 million, with over 190,000 lives having been claimed by the disease.

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However, it seems that the virus has taken a special interest in the more developed parts of the world as the countries that have been the worse for wear, happen to be strong economies, namely, USA, UK, China, Russia and all of the European countries. That is of course, not to say that the virus has a prejudiced approach towards particular regions, but there is certainly an interesting pattern at play here.

The numbers suggest in a crystal clear fashion that the western region has had an adverse aftermath to the virus attack as compared to the rest of the world. However, still if Pakistan is to be compared with other countries, the revelations are most intriguing to say the least.


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How Have We Fared Against COVID-19 As Compared To Other Countries?

A few brians here at ProPakistani sat down to collect some comparative data of Pakistan and the rest of the worst hit countries in the world regarding the most recent developments pertaining to Coronavirus. Following points have been taken into account:

The graph above shows the trajectory of COVID-19 spread after the reporting of 50 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the countries under observation. As evident in the graph, Pakistan somehow remains at the bottom in terms of the number of cases diagnosed for having Coronavirus in the first 40 days of having 50 confirmed cases, whereas other countries saw an exponential rise in the numbers.

This graph shows the number of deaths that occurred in the countries under observation after the first recorded death due to COVID-19. Apparently, while the other countries around the world have seen a significant increase in the corona-induced deaths, Pakistan remains at the bottom here as well, and with quite a healthy margin too.

The two graphs are shown side by side in order for the viewers to draw a clearer perspective of the situation. Yes, we can all see and acknowledge that Pakistan is at the bottom in terms of the “daily test figures” when compared with USA and Europe, which, as opposed to the previous graphs, is not a great place to be. Though it bears mentioning that the ‘tested cases’ to ‘mortality’ ratio of Pakistan is still much better as compared to the US and European countries.

Also, when compared with the correlative economies such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Thailand, Pakistan seems to be faring quite well while remaining 2nd only to Malaysia, which is admittedly a country with far superior medical infrastructure, as are several countries in the graph as compared to Pakistan.

It also bears mentioning that the Pakistani government officials themselves predicted around three weeks ago that the number of COVID-19 patients could rise up to as much as 50,000 and the deaths could go up to 7000. As the current situation stands, it is safe to say that the said prediction has been proven wrong as well, despite the prevalent “partial” lockdown.


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Is There a Method to this Madness?

Much like the rest of the world, ProPakistani is also trying desperately to grasp the circumstances pertinent to Pakistan. Therefore, to make some kind of sense of the prevailing situation, Mr. Aamir Attaa of ProPakistani got in touch with the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives, Mr. Asad Umer.

Following questions were asked from Mr. Asad Umer in the interest of comprehending the situation:

Do you think that the number of Coronavirus cases and subsequent deaths is particularly lower in Pakistan? If so, why do you believe that is?

“Yes. Much to our own amazement, the numbers are actually low as compared to a majority of other regions, even here in southeast Asia. However, the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of it remains a mystery to the government and the health & medical practitioners alike,” Said Mr. Umer

How much truth do you think there is to the myths circulating Pakistan being ‘Impervious’ to Coronavirus?

“The first and foremost understanding that we need to establish is that Pakistan is just as susceptible to the virus as the rest of the world. The superficial ideas floating about, saying that the brown skin color or some divine intervention from above have to do with the restrained spread, have absolutely zero truth to them,” Said Mr. Umer.

To your knowledge, what is the reason behind Pakistan’s COVID-19 stats being lower?

“There could be any number of reasons behind the particularly lower statistics. One of the reasons could be the fact that Pakistan’s population comprises almost 60% youth and young adults. And as we know that most often, the virus has serious effects on people with prior medical conditions or those with a weak immune systems, who are mostly the elderly people. But this advantage too would probably account for just percentages rather than the sheer number,” Said Mr. Umer.

He also shared a list of hypothesized areas being looked into by the researchers in order to fortify the virus mitigation strategy:

  • Dwellers of the regions with a variety of lethal diseases naturally boast a stronger immune system. Which could probably be one of the reasons why Pakistan has not seen an exponentially higher number of deaths.
  • Nations with Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccinations are lesser likely to get infected.
  • Dwellers of the countries where malaria is mainstream, have higher tolerance to COVID-19.
  • Countries that are warm and humid, have a relative restrained spread of Coronavirus.

Has there been a sure-fire trend noticed thus far pertaining to the spread of COVID-19?

“The bottom line that we know based off of the data available to us as of right now is that the number of fatalities in southeast Asia and Africa are distinctly low as compared to developed countries. But we are yet to ascertain the reason behind this trend,” Said Mr. Umer.


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Conclusion:

Amidst looking for answers to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, the entire world is walking a fine line between salvation and destruction and Pakistan is no different. As of last week, the numbers have starting rising at a larger degree.

With the partial lockdowns in place and the reinstatement of the order regarding prayers in the mosques and/or other places of worship, the pursuit of answers pertaining to Coronavirus has become a waiting game.

However, the fact remains that the government is trying its level best to get a grip over the situation. Also, the only thing that we all know for sure thus far, is that staying home, staying clean and limiting needless outdoor activities to the minimum, are the only known remedies to flatten the COVID-19 curve.


  • I think there are certain factors like young population, temperature and humidity(yes today its proven by the US scientists that it has effect on the virus it’s half life reduces drastically), a better general population immunity against the family of viruses belonging to coronavirus. i think its because when the virus started it was citrus fruit season in pakistan (vitamin c= better immune system). Also for those saying that testing rate is slower that’s why fewer deaths are reported, these lines in the article supports my argument.
    ”Though it bears mentioning that the ‘tested cases’ to ‘mortality’ ratio of Pakistan is still much better as compared to the US and European countries.”

  • Our low numbers have nothing to do with insusceptibility or immunity. We are just not testing as extensively as other countries which have many more cases. Iceland has a population of 364000 and even they have done almost 3 times more tests than we have. All those countries reporting numbers in 100s of thousands? They’ve done millions of tests.

    The actual number of infected patients and deaths is higher. Likely much higher.


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