Scientists have ruled out the possible role of herd immunity in a dramatic drop of coronavirus cases in Pakistan. They say that the death ratio is too high for herd immunity, which comes only if 70 to 80 percent of the population is infected.
Eminent Urologist and former CEO of the Pakistan Kidney & Liver Transplant Institute, Professor Dr. Saeed Akhtar, said that those who speak about the possible cause of lessened severity of the virus are lying.
I can’t give any plausible reason for the drastic reduction in the number of coronavirus patients and deaths in Pakistan. Scientists are working on this question worldwide. Anybody who talks about the precise cause for the lessening of the severity of the disease is telling a lie.
Esteemed scientist, Prof. Dr. Ataur Rehman listed several reasons behind the phenomenon. Both, Dr. Akhtar and Dr. Rehman acknowledged that the “smart lockdown” worked in controlling the pandemic in the country.
Dr. Akhtar opined that Allah Almighty was very kind to Pakistan when the country faced the pandemic.
But nobody understands why there is a significant drop in the number of COVID-19 patients and deaths.
The experts highlighted the importance of strict implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during Eid ul Adha and Muharram ul Haram, or else the virus situation will be worse than the post-Eid ul Fitr scenario.
Giving examples of 2002’s Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) with a 30 percent death rate worldwide and later the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) with the death ratio being 39%, Dr. Akhtar said that 80 percent of the pandemic can be controlled by wearing face masks.
This is the best prevention in the absence of a vaccine. We have to pay a heavy price without a vaccine in case of herd immunity.
Contrary to our expectations, the coronavirus peak in Pakistan came in June, Dr. Ataur Rehman said, adding that the curve began to flatten afterward.
He downplayed the notion that the number of infections reduced because of a reduction in testing, saying that people are less forthcoming in getting themselves tested.
Almost one-third of the daily cases have fallen since June, Dr. Rehman noted.
He also rebuffed the claims that the government is hiding the numbers, saying that the figures of patients can be concealed, but the deaths cannot, he said. He admitted that the virus situation had improved a lot since last month.
Besides the effectiveness of smart lockdown, the renowned scientist also considered immunity that South Asians have developed because of pollution and other causes as another reason.
The present pandemic is not as disturbing in this region as compared to the US and Europe where the immunity is too low.
He opined that the BCG vaccination administered during childhood in Pakistan is another reason behind the low number of infections, although it is not proven with certainty.