(Waqar Hussain, Lahore)

Today, looked at the WHO Coronavirus update and a wave of relief soothed mind on examining and comparing the corona statistics of worst hit top six countries with that of Pakistan’s.

World’s overall pictures is 19 lakhs (1,911,599) patients; 1,18,669 death and approximate death clue is 6.2%.

The leading six nastiest hit countries USA, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and UK have below figures:

1) USA – 5,79,045 cases; 23,238 deaths; 4%

2) Spain – 1,69,496 cases; 17,489 deaths; 10%

3) Italy – 1,59,516 cases; 20,465 deaths; 12.7%

4) France – 1,36,779 cases; 14,967 deaths; 10.8%

5) Germany – 1,28,208 cases; 3,043 deaths 2.3%

6) UK – 1,26,665 cases; 90,531 deaths; 12.7%

Total: 1,261,665 cases; 90,531; deaths; 7.17%

(It means these six countries have contribution of 66% in World cases and 76.2% in World deaths). In other words; one can say; out of three patients, two belong to these six countries. And out of four deaths, 3 deaths are among these six countries.

In Pakistan, there are 5496 cases and 93 deaths and approximately death rate is 1.6%; it means out of 200 patients, two persons kick the bucket.

It is no doubt, a Good News for Pakistan as we have ordinary health facilities plus many other ‘normals’ but nature has bestowed with the good, sprung out of our bad.

There are two viral voice messages of doctors explaining their observation after treating COVID patients and a Facebook post of Dr. Bashir: All explained few factors that are saving us from the wrath of this calamity. There are seven factors rescuing Pakistan in this turbulent situation.

1) BCG Vaccination:

The Bascillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine which was first developed to fight tuberculosis is being studied in chemical trial around the world as a way to fight the coronavirus. Dr. Denise Faustman, director of Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor at Harvard Medical school, said: “BCG vaccine might help people build immune responses to things other than TB, causing “off target effects”.

It is believed that BCG vaccine can cause a non-specific boost of the immune response. Several countries around the world are beginning human clinical trial to evaluate the BCG vaccine’s efficacy such as Australia, Netherland, USA etc. Pakistani population gets BCG in childhood, it might have some role in immune system to cope with coronavirus.

2) Cytomegalovirus (CMV):

It is a common virus, if one is infected, body retain the virus for the entire life. Pakistani population is reported to be more than 90%, when measured HCMV IgG antibody. It might have developed some sort of immunity. If we look at USA, where 50% of adult, after the age of 40 years, have had cytomegalovirus infection.

3) Uses of Spices:

Pakistani people are accustomed to use good quantity of spices in their food. Our spicy foods are famous all over the world. Here is mention of only a few spices which help to build immunity. Garlic(lahsin) is immune boosting super star and Elixir of Health; it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients; Ginger(adrak) also have anti-oxidant and ginger tea is used to treat common flu; Cardamom (ilaichi) aid blood detoxification;Turmeric (haldi) is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, Saffron ( Zafran) is used to treat cold ; Black pepper ( kali mirch) contain various anti-oxidant that increase body’s metabolism; Star anise (badyan kay phool) have anti-oxidant plus vitamins to erase throat infection; Nutmeg( jaifil) has strong anti-bacterial properties. It helps to boost immune system; Fenugreek (methi dana) is packed with anti-viral properties: there is a famous saying: “If my followers had come to know the benefit of fenugreek, they would have not hesitated in buying it, even at gold rate”; Clove(loong) has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic agents; Cinnamon (dar cheeni) has healing properties; Black seed (kalwanji) has been used as medicine and spice since ages. It was found in King Tut’s tomb (Tutankhamun, colloquially known as King Tut, was the 12th pharaoh of the 18th Egyptian dynasty, in power from approximately 1332 to 1323 B.C.E.). Its medicinal properties are mentioned in various ancient literatures including Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Black seed’s medicinal properties were admired so much that it was said to cure anything but death. It has high amount of antioxidants like thymoquinone, carvacrol and t-anethole; that have protective effect against chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. It has strong anti-bacterial effects. Calling black seed as a ‘natural antibiotic’ is not an exaggeration. It has strong antibiotic effects against many bacterial infections including the resistant bacteria. So, Pakistani are taking so vast majority of spices that might have heightened immunity.

4) Adulterated food; unclean water and polluted air:

“Good news for Pakistan” a Facebook post of Dr. Ahmad Bashir, king Edward graduate from Lahore and now living in Italy since 2002. He is pulmonologist and has currently treated countless coronavirus patients. He said: “To my knowledge not a single Pakistani died due to the coronavirus itself”. He further said: “Common cold virus is being addressed differently in different regions. People of the sub-continent including Pakistan, probably due to the dirty atmosphere have the common cold at an average of 7 attacks per year as compared to 3 or less in other areas.”

So it is blessing in disguise that Pakistan’s immune system is under constant threat from adulterated food, unclean water and polluted air, thus instigating immune system all the time to be active and be prepared to meet the challenges. It might be the reason for our better corona statics in comparison to developed six countries.

5) Demography:

Median age in Italy is 47.3 years and life expectancy is 83.57 year whereas Pakistan has median age 22.8 years and life expectancy 67.17 years. So our large chunk of population is younger, with better immune system as the coronavirus is hitting hard on older population.

In an Italian study conducted on 17,916 deaths; 83% people were of above 70 years. And the average age of died persons was 68 years, which is above our life expectancy 67.17 years. Here again, Pakistani are Lucky!

6) Temperature:

There are many studies that high mercury level reduces severity of coronavirus. Places, where it had played havoc, all had temperature below 100C except Qom and Mashhad where temperature was 120C or so. The temperature in Pakistan is increasing day by day; it has crossed 300C at many places and in coming day it will rise further.

If one looks the location of worst hit countries- all are above tropical regions and on average between 40-500 latitude North (New York 53; Spain 40; Italy 43; France 47; Germany 51; UK 530 N); whereas Pakistan is about 23o N latitude, just above the tropic of cancer. It means Pakistan is almost touching tropical region, where coronavirus cruelty is minimum.

7) Rural Population:

Rural population in Pakistan is 63.33%( it means 2 out of 3 person lives in rural area). Rural area has scattered settlings, thus providing natural distancing whereas rural population in Italy is only 29.56%. Rural population living is close to nature with habit of hectic physical work and eating natural food that contribute a lot in uplifting immune system.

Apart from above, doctor disclosed in viral voice message that probably we had mild version of coronavirus. It is pertinent to mention here that Chinese scientist said; L type is more aggressive, but S-Type is mild one. Another point to feel relief is that 60,000 tests are conducted so far and only 5000 tested are positive i.e. only 8%.

In sum, statics clearly indicates ‘good news for Pakistan’. It will surely reduce corona panic a lot. Though the figure of 5000 looks small in comparison to most hit countries, yet it had potential threat, so one must not be complacent, rather should lift spirit to uproot this evil. Social distancing, frequent hand wash, use of mask, taking immune boosting food, regular exercised and spiritual therapies must be observed strictly. Stay safe and blessed!


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