Lockdown Pakistan to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission

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  • Covid-19 is spreading exponentially through human transmission
  • Countries like Italy and Iran have faced massive fatalities because they failed to lockdown timely.
  • Countries like Pakistan DO NOT have the healthcare capacity to deal with a large number of cases and eventually there will be complete chaos and rising death tolls like Italy if we do not act now
  • China has contained the infection by launching a draconian complete lockdown; their economy has NOT collapsed 
  • A lockdown does three things:
    • 1. It breaks the chain of human transmission
    • 2. It allows doctors and nurses enough time to arrange resources to treat existing cases without having to deal with thousands of new cases
    • 3. It sends an important message in the community which is not taking the matter seriously and still continuing with gatherings and traveling 
  • A lockdown can impact the economy and daily wage workers, but here's how that can be fixed:
    • 1. Daily wage workers will be able to earn only if they are able to LIVE. Right now it is a matter of life and death for even them as they are the most vulnerable group. 
    • 2. A system of ration provision can be arranged for vulnerable groups; this is a cost the government and the public should be willing to bear because the economy will bear a bigger economic cost if people get sick or die in thousands
    • 3. Panic buying can be avoided during this time by keeping only essential shops open and setting a limit on the quantities purchases per person to avoid hoarding. 
  • These are all viable and easy options which can help us flatten the curve, stop the transmission and allow the sick ones to recover easily in the existing space available in the hospitals. 
  • You might think that the country will collapse in a 2-3 week lockdown BUT let me assure you it will not. We have a week-long Eid holiday and nothing collapses during that time.  However it will collapse if we do not break the chain of transmission and do not flatten the curve. 
  • Here's a working on the expected cases if we do not lockdown immediately:
  • Tracking from 26 Feb, we had 1 case. If we assume infections double in 3 days, by 26 March we will have 1024 cases (which is where we are headed currently). Since this will double every 3 days, by 29 March we will have 2048 cases and by 1 April we will have 4096 cases. Without a lockdown within 78 days from the start of its spread around  67 million people will be infected! A lockdown is the ONLY way to stop the spread and save thousands of lives. 
  • Additional references below for your enlightenment:
  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2020/03/17/why-exponential-growth-is-so-scary-for-the-covid-19-coronavirus/#33a724624e9b
  • https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/11/flattening-curve-coronavirus/
  • https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
  • https://www.facebook.com/926601710717626/posts/3195455990498842/?sfnsn=scwspwa&d=w&vh=e&extid=tmBUVpZnI3qfwUq0
  • https://www.wired.com/story/how-fast-does-a-virus-spread/