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Sunday December 04, 2022

COVID-19: Pakistan tops The Economist's world normalcy index

Fawad Chaudhry says Pakistan is in a far better position than the rest of the world due to its effective handling of COVID-19

By Web Desk
November 08, 2021
The COVID-19 normalcy index places Pakistan on top.
The COVID-19 normalcy index places Pakistan on top.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been ranked number 1 in The Economists’ world normalcy index as the country lifted most of its COVID-19 restrictions imposed to curb the virus spread.

The Economist's normalcy index offers some evidence about how people are responding to restrictions in real-time. Pakistan is followed by Nigeria, Britain and Germany on the list which was last updated on Friday (Nov 5).

Taking credit for the development, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that Pakistan was in a far better position than the rest of the world due to its effective handling of COVID-19, which was also appreciated by the world community.

In a tweet, the minister said PTI's political opponents were spreading lies in frustration and that in this situation, the PTI workers should play their role in bringing facts to public knowledge.

He said that Pakistan was not located on a separate planet and international prices of commodities had their impact here as well.

He said it was a fact now that Pakistan’s industry had revived, the construction sector was fully operational, the agricultural economy was prosperous and IT exports had tripled.

The income of workers, farmers and people working in the industrial sector had increased, he said.

The minister hoped that in six to eight months prices of commodities in the international market would return to normalcy which would have a positive impact on Pakistan as well.

The Economist report

Although much of the population in richer countries of the world is now vaccinated, COVID-19 lingers, The Economist said, adding that cases are likely to rise in the coming months as cold weather in the northern hemisphere forces people to spend more time inside.

“Yet policymakers may worry that complacency about COVID-19, especially among the vaccinated, will lead to people ignoring new restrictions and not using face masks,” it added.

The Economist's normalcy index tracks eight different metrics of human behaviour, from travel to sporting attendance, across 50 countries that together account for about 90% of the world’s GDP and 75% of its population.

In recent months, the normalcy index rose as restrictions were eased, to 79 points (where 100 is equivalent to average pre-pandemic behaviour) — its highest level since March, 2020.

New restrictions and the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere have pushed it slightly lower in recent weeks to 76 points.