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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

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The News

Published Date: Apr 6, 2020

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/640029-proper-wash-facilities-to-contain-faecal-oral-route-transmission-of-covid-19

Proper WASH facilities to contain faecal, oral route transmission of COVID 19

Islamabad : A recent study revealed that the transmission of coronavirus or COVID-19 other than respiratory means was observed in the latest researches through the faecal-oral route that demands the government at all levels to ensure proper water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities to contain the pandemic conduction through this potent source.

Research Fellow at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Dr Imran Saqib Khalid in his policy brief titled ‘Managing Risks to Water and Sanitation amid COVID-19: Policy Options for Pakistan’ had highlighted the risks of coronavirus communication through infected patients stool while quoting the research carried by Xiao et al. (2020) found that the Coronavirus, in China, was evident in the stool of just over 50 percent of patients.

The study observed: In more than 20 percent of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) patients, the viral RNA remained positive in faeces even after negative conversion of the viral RNA in respiratory tract indicating the viral gastrointestinal infection and potential faecal-oral transmission can last even after viral clearance in respiratory tract.

Dr Saqib in his study had argued that these findings were supported by Guetal. (2020), who quoting evidences from 2003 SARS epidemic, found the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in stools of the patients days after they had been discharged from the hospital.

“This means that symptomatic as well as asymptomatic (having no symptoms) carriers of the virus may be shedding it and could transmit it to others,” it added. Raising serious concerns over the deleterious state of water, sanitation and hygiene in the country, he recommended short and long term measures to mitigate the risk of the pandemic increase.

The Short term or immediate measures to be taken, firstly, called the frontline fighters hospitals and medical practitioners to be cognizant of the potential for faecal-oral route of transmission of Coronavirus.

They should devise adequate plans and procedures to counter this risk.

Dr Imran in his study mentioned that the national rate of open defecation in Pakistan went from 29 percent in 2004-05 to 13 percent in 2014-15. “Despite a significant improvement, this still means that well over 25 million people in Pakistan remain without access to sanitation facilities,” it added.

Keeping in view this level of WASH facilities and open defecation rate institutionalization of local governments was necessary to develop plans and actions to counter the risks posed by COVID-19, with special focus on provision of regular supply of water as well as improved mechanisms for sanitation and personal hygiene.

The study also recommended that such disasters increased gender and disability inequalities in the society and the strategies to improving WASH facilities should address this concern.

Dr Imran also suggested: Better communication with communities across the country in local languages through video, audio messages through social media, highlighting the risk faecal-oral transmission poses along with respiratory transmission through uniform messaging.

Moreover, it was necessary to set up handwashing facilities at public places such as markets, train and bus stations, hospitals.

The growing social enterprise sector in Pakistan can play an important role in this regard. The study observed that hospital and industrial waste in urban areas was thrown in water streams and channels which were mixed with household liquid waste.

It had increased the risk of virus contact among the sanitary workers who were washing the drains without any personal protective equipment.

Sanitary workers should be provided necessary tools and personal protection equipment.

They need to be imparted training how to work safely on post-COVID-19 era.

In order to conserve water, hand washing campaigns should not focus on using running water to explain proper hand-washing techniques.

The focus should be on the use of soap and proper scrubbing of hands as opposed to running water.

For the long term, Dr Saqib recommended that municipalities should allocate funds for improved water supply and waste disposal infrastructure, ensure regular monitoring of water supplies with no contamination.

They should also ensure treatment and management of municipal wastewater as per the National and Provincial Environmental Regulations. A plan of action should be devised to manage faecal waste in rural areas to avoid contamination of water supplies along with promoting integrated and adaptable water and sanitation decision-making across the county at all levels.