Use case: Corona crisis in Pakistan

Use case: Corona crisis in Pakistan

Pakistan has currently over 35,000 cases of infection with COVID-19 and 770 people died so far (Source: John Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center). Balochistan province was the first one to be infected with the coronavirus as thousands of pilgrims came from Iran during February and March. The Pakistani government set up a quarantine camp at the Taftan crossing after the virus was detected, but the doctors demanded protection. Due to the shortage of protective N-95 masks a strike, which was stopped by police, included hundreds of doctors and paramedics (Source: BBC). Given the number of citizens of both India and Pakistan (they account for the fifth of the world’s population) and the low number of infected and deaths, some raise questions whether countries do not underreport the true number of infected with COVID-19. Both countries suffer a lack of testing kits (Source: Telegraph). 

 

Pakistani measures included a curfew lockdown to stop people from attending Friday prayers. Moreover, a general order was issued at the end of March to restrict attendance at mosques to a maximum of five people (Source: BBC). Despite government’s lockdown rules and the ban on congregational prayers, some mosques held the Friday prayers (Source: The Economic Times). Similarly like the other countries, Pakistan imposed measures such as closing of schools, banning public gatherings and temporarily shutting down non-essential businesses (Source: BBC). The restrictions were loosened on the 15th of April and applied to a range of industries across the country, such as the construction industry (Source: Aljazeera).

The graph below features the media mentions of Pakistan and countries in the region with regards to COVID-19 during the week from the 13th to the 19th of April.

When inspecting the graph in detail, it is possible to separate two groups of countries. The least mentioned countries by the media in connection with coronavirus are Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The second group of countries are Iran and India. Pakistani mentions are closer to the former group oscillating around 3,000 mentions per day. Out of these 9 countries, Iran and India are the two most mentioned ones with regards to the virus and are also the ones most affected by it by the official number of infections.

The pie graph depicts the 10 most mentioned people with regards to COVID-19 and Pakistan during the week from the 14th to the 21st of April.

A tweet informing that a Pakistani top social worker was infected by COVID-19.

The video of Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan below was shared by a journalist Naila Inayat on Twitter and went viral. The Pakistani Assistant to the Prime Minister advised the citizens to cover their legs, as the virus can spread “neeche se” (from below). Awan explains how the virus can not only enter through the mouth or nose, but also from underneath, so people should cover up all body parts. The video was shared 1,400 times (Source: News 18).

These are four of the Tweets posting about COVID-19 and Pakistan which could have reached the most Twitter users in the week from the 14th to the 21st of April.

The tweet about Pakistan and COVID-19 produced in the week from the 14th to the 21st of April with the highest potential reach is depicted on the left and was created by Reuters and was retweeted 42 times.

  • Due to the shortage of protective N-95 masks a strike included hundreds of doctors and paramedics and it was stopped by police (Source: BBC).
  • Despite government’s lockdown rules and the ban on congregational prayers, some mosques held the Friday prayers (Source: The Economic Times).
  • The restrictions were loosened on the 15th of April and applied to a range of industries across the country, such as the construction industry (Source: Aljazeera).
  • The most mentioned countries in the region with regards to COVID-19 are Iran and India. Pakistan is the third most mentioned country with regards to the virus and its numbers oscillate around 3,000 media mentions per day.
  • Some raise questions whether Pakistan and India do not underreport the true number of infected with COVID-19. Both countries suffer a lack of testing kits (Source: Telegraph).
  • Pakistani top social worker was infected by COVID-19 and he has recently met the country’s MP Imran Khan.
  • The video of Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan advising the citizens to cover their legs, as the virus can spread “neeche se” (from below) went viral after being shared by a journalist.

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