ISLAMABAD: A prominent public health expert and member of the Scientific Task Force on COVID-19, Prof Dr Javed Akram has said that the sudden decrease in coronavirus cases in the country was due to a combination of factors, including a short-term immunity.
He said this while speaking to Dawn News as Pakistan’s national positivity ratio showed a decline, recorded at 6.02% in the last 24 hours, with 1,716 patients in critical condition, according to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday.
Dr Akram said that when a large population is exposed to a pandemic, human bodies/people try to build short-term antibodies against the disease, which is also known as sub-clinical disease or asymptomatic disease. It means that people may become infected but exhibit few or no symptoms. It’s also known as Exposure Induced Immunity, and it causes disease or cases to drop suddenly in society, he explained.
According to Dr Javed Akram, other factors behind the decline in new infections included the ban on large gatherings and the implementation of the COVID-19 protocols.
While emphasising the need for booster shots, Dr Akram said that people should remember that the disease has been reduced but not eradicated, so they should strictly follow standard operating procedures because the virus can resurface.
‘Stealth Omicron (BA.2)’ has been reported in Norway and Sweden, according to Dr Akram, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the University of Health Sciences.
“We don’t know how infectious and transmissible the new sub-variant is, but keep in mind that the world is a global village, and every variant has spread around the world. There is a strong possibility that new variants will emerge in the future,” he was quoted as saying by the publication.
In Pakistan, however, the population seems to have developed a short-term immunity to COVID-19 as daily cases began to fall in the first week of February.
On January 27, the country reported that 8,183 people were infected, the highest number of cases in a single day since the pandemic began.
However, another 47 people are killed by a deadly virus across the country in the last 24 hours.