Webinar on Smart Approaches to COVID-19 Organized by PIDE, President ECOSF attended

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A webinar on smart approaches to novel Corona Virus – COVID-19 was organized by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad, Pakistan on 21 April 2020. A good number of national and international academic experts, scholars, researchers and students attended the event. President ECOSF Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro was also among the attendees.

Vice Chancellor of PIDE Dr. Nadeem ul Haq welcomed the distinguished experts and the participants and thanked them for sparing time to join the webinar. He then introduced the webinar and its importance during the prevailing situation of COVID-19. Later, he invited the experts to deliver their talks.

Experts including; Dr. Rashid Mehmood, Dr. Jawad Asghar, Dr. Samia Altaf and others said that we have to understand the pandemic. Pandemic has various aspects and it is not a single stage game but a multi-stage game. During the pandemic, the number of infected cases goes up and down many times, finally it settles down. Big threat and challenge of Pandemic is that if a single person in the area is affected, he/she can affect others exponentially. The cost of pandemic is very high even for small minority of people. The human conditions are random and isotropic; thus, the spread of diseases would be uneven. During this situation of corona virus, so far, lockdown and social distancing are the best strategies, even, if there is no case but lockdown should be placed at least for 14 days (life of the virus).  Smart lockdowns can be imposed in different localities.

Experts further elaborated that the computer model does not work in this kind of pandemics especially on those where we don’t have key information available. The infected numbers of people vary in every region of the countries/world. Testing is the best method to identify the cases because there are many cases with no visible symptoms of disease. Testing of every person in the country, even in the developed countries; such as USA is not possible and even, the health systems do not have capacity to do it, thus, random testing in different areas should be done. Herd strategy is also adopted by few countries of the world such as Sweden, which allows no lockdown and no social distancing.

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