Dental Tribune Pakistan

Experts decode the reason behind drop in COVID-19 cases

By Dr Muattar Hanif
July 22, 2020

Karachi: In a recent turn of events, over 204,000 Covid-19 patients have been recovered in Pakistan; around 78% of approximately 263,400 cases reported in the country, indicating that that the peak has passed and the government has managed to flatten the coronavirus curve.

According to official data released on 20th July 2020, 5,767 more people recovered from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 204,276.

The sudden drop in cases can be attributed to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are being followed by citizens. A great factor of success can also be given credit to the government’s efforts to limit the spread of infection.

Ms Arifa Khatoon, Manager Infection Control, Indus Hospital Karachi told Dental Tribune Pakistan that the percentage of coronavirus positive cases, the number of hospitalised patients, and deaths have been declining in Pakistan since the start of July 2020.

“As far as the low number of cases are reported, I think it can be many reasons behind it. Firstly, people are getting aware of keeping themselves protected through masks and other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). I do feel that when protection happens, the chance of contracting virus automatically lessens,” Arifa told.

Upon asking the reason behind a lesser number of COVID-19 tests, Arifa said, “We were making patients tested even when they were displaying moderate to high symptoms and then again making them go through the test before discharging. But now, many hospitals have revised their SOPs. Patients are tested only once to make sure they are COVID-19 positive or not and discharge them or desolate them once their symptoms subsided. There is no need to test them again.”

Many types of research are confirming that the reason for the drop in cases can be due to herd immunity or non-specific immunity. Arifa Khatoon though doesn’t agree. “Coronavirus is ever-changing. The kind we have won’t be the one available in other countries. It’s modifying itself and adjusting rapidly. Hence one cannot depend on the stats and such theories, because what works for one demography won’t be the same for others. I think this is also one of the reasons why vaccinations are still not finalised as yet.”

Manager Infection Control believes that one major factor for the decrease in cases is the loss of virulence factor in the virus. “I believe that the virus is losing its virulence; hence its effect is not that strong anymore, as it was initially.”

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