Dr Sultan addresses UK’s reasoning for retaining Pakistan on the pink checklist


Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has written a letter to the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid. The letter was concerning the UK authorities’s latest determination to retain Pakistan on the ‘Red List’, whereas shifting different nations, comparable to India, to the ‘Amber List’.

He addressed, specifically, the obtainable data that turned the idea for the UK’s determination.

In his letter, Dr Sultan offered knowledge that in contrast “key indicators from Pakistan and some other countries in the region which currently sit in the ‘Amber List’ in efforts to highlight some obvious disparities”.

The data table in SAPM Dr Sultan's letter. PHOTO: Twitter/ShireenMazari

The knowledge desk in SAPM Dr Sultan’s letter. PHOTO: Twitter/ShireenMazari

The desk confirmed that Pakistan had the bottom every day circumstances, every day deaths, and complete deaths per million individuals within the area. It additional indicated that Pakistan had increased every day vaccination per 100 individuals, inside the area.

Pakistan’s knowledge was in comparison with that of India, Iran and Iraq, all of whom are on the ‘Amber List’ and have statistically fared worse, in accordance with Dr Sultan.

With regards to the UK’s concern about Pakistan’s testing charges, he stated that “the number of tests being done are a large enough sample size to be a sensitive and accurate barometer of the epidemic”.

According to Dr Sultan, the variety of exams has “accurately reflected the rise and fall of all the waves seen so far”.

The SAPM on well being additionally listed the assorted metrics that improve testing charges and have “risen and fallen in a coherent fashion and with latencies and intervals which fit perfectly well with how the disease progresses clinically”.

He additional talked about that every one knowledge and statistics concerning Covid in Pakistan are uploaded every day on the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) web site.

‘Genomic Surveillance’

He, nonetheless, admitted that Pakistan has “limitations in whole genome sequencing throughput” compared to the UK, who he dubbed a ‘chief’ on this area.

However, the National Institute of Health in Pakistan – together with different collaborators – has sequenced 854 samples throughout July and August 2021, the main points of that are commonly shared with the World Health Organization, he stated.

The letter famous that the Delta (Indian) variant is the dominant pressure in Pakistan whereas the Beta variant’s prevalence isn’t any higher than “the global average”.

The premier’s aide additionally supplied to share Pakistan’s knowledge outcomes with the UK in real-time to supply higher perception.

“However, to introduce genomic sequencing as a efficiency measure and cite it as a cause to disclaim travel from Pakistan seems to introduce an unnecessarily giant metric,” he stated including that safety from Covid-19 could possibly be achieved by way of extra goal measures.

Dr Sultan questioned if all nations are being subjected to the metric of genomic surveillance.

Pakistan’s Covid response

The SAPM highlighted some salient options of Pakistan’s response to Covid-19, which included “sustainable, data-driven responses and restrictions to bring in a state of normalcy” whereas pursuing vaccinations.

He talked about that “vaccinations remain a core pillar of Pakistan’s strategy”, with bettering vaccine provides and the every day vaccination price growing to 1 million doses. 29.7 million individuals have been vaccinated, with 10.6 million absolutely vaccinated, he cited.

“The aim is to vaccinate 100 million persons by the end of 2021”, Dr Sultan claimed.

Read Decision to maintain Pakistan on pink checklist based mostly on ‘knowledge and science’: UK

The letter additional mentioned that the immunization database is linked to the nationwide digital identification and permits for dependable real-time seize of immunization knowledge. This supplies visibility of the vaccination drive throughout the nation and ensures correct knowledge administration.

Dr Sultan additionally spoke of Pakistan’s “centralized and coordinated data management mechanism for testing, contact tracing, quarantine, hospital bed occupancy, deaths and vaccination”, the combination of which into the nation’s pandemic coverage has performed a significant function in managing the epidemic.

Furthermore, in efforts to regulate the inflow of the virus through travel, Dr Sultan acknowledged that Pakistan requires pre-travel PCR exams and a fast antigen check on arrival, together with a quarantine interval for many who check optimistic.


The SAPM underlined that Pakistan’s anti-Covid efforts have been recognised by the United Nations General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, who steered that the nation was a “good example” for the world to comply with.

“WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thought that ‘Pakistan was among countries from whom the international community should learn how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic’”, he added.

The SAPM additional talked about Forbes journal’s appreciation of Pakistan’s efforts to stabilize and develop the economic system through the pandemic, and The Economist rating Pakistan as third among the many best-performing nations for dealing with the pandemic.

“The World Economic Forum celebrated ‘Pakistan Strategy Day’ to endorse Pakistan’s strategy of handling both corona and the economy”, he stated.

‘The way ahead’

According to Dr Sultan, the “shared objective” was to cut back the chance that’s concerned with worldwide travel.

With regards to Pakistani travellers, “this can be achieved with interventions focused directly on the traveller, rather than on other metrics that will be different and difficult to compare across different countries”, he acknowledged.

Dr Sultan proposed a three-pronged approach of getting a WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccine, a PCR check 72 hours previous to departure, and a fast antigen check on the airport earlier than departure.

Altogether, “these measures ought to be able to provide the health security that we are all collectively seeking”, he wrote.

Dr Sultan assured the UK Secretary of State for Health that he could be glad todiscuss with British consultants, one of the best ways to take this ahead.

He asserted that Pakistan had little interest in permitting “those of its nationals who pose a health risk to other societies to travel abroad, any more than” permitting entry to those that pose a well being threat to Pakistan.

“This is a shared global objective”, he acknowledged.

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