Pakistan's success in dealing with the coronavirus crisis has received a ringing endorsement from the World Health Organization's director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He says Pakistan is among seven countries from which the international community can learn lessons on how best to deal with the pandemic.

Explaining why this is the case at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr Tedros said: "Pakistan deployed the infrastructure built up over many years for polio to combat Covid-19. Community health workers who have been trained to go door to door, vaccinating children for polio, have been utilised for surveillance, contact tracing and care."

Dr Tedros cited Thailand, Italy, Mongolia, Mauritius, Uruguay and Germany as other shining examples of how to tackle the crisis.

He added: "There are many other examples [of successful countries] we could give, including Cambodia, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Vietnam and more. Many of these countries have done well because they learned lessons from previous outbreaks of SARS, MERS, measles, polio, Ebola, flu and other diseases.

"That's why it's vital that we all learn the lessons this pandemic is teaching us."

To date, Pakistan has reported 300,361 Covid-19 cases and 6,370 fatalities, while over 280,000 people have recovered from the virus.

In a tweet, former Pakistan health minister Dr Zafar Mirza hailed the remarks by the WHO chief and said it is a "great honour" for the people of Pakistan.

He said: "Pakistan included among seven countries by WHO Director General- countries that the world can learn from about how to fight future pandemics. Great honour for the people of Pakistan. Alhamdolilah."

Mirza had supervised Pakistan's Covid-19 response before resigning from the post in July.

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