The curious case of pandemics and ‘mobility in panic’ within Pakistan

The curious case of pandemics and ‘mobility in panic’ within Pakistan

Publication details

  • Tuesday | 31 Mar, 2020
  • Ayesha Qaisrani
  • COVID-19 Policy Review Series
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Introduction and Background Based on clear evidences emerging from around the world about the linkages between human mobility and the spread of COVID-19, Pakistan is gradually moving towards a countrywide lockdown situation. Though such measures are absolutely imperative to contain the virus and flatten the curve, their repercussions are widespread and may have long-lasting implications for the socioeconomic outlook of the country. In this policy review, a mobility perspective has been adopted to analyze how the different lockdown scenarios impact internal (within country) human mobility and how those mobility patterns influence the cartography of virus spread. In the light of the current health emergency, travel restrictions are key policy interventions that are increasingly being imposed in many countries (Fang et al. 2020). In addition, the impact of pandemics and health emergencies have different socioeconomic outcomes than other global crises. For instance, previous studies conducted by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) show that during the global financial crisis of 2008, the inflow of remittances to Pakistan soared to record levels despite increase in unemployment and poverty headcount ratio (Ahmed and O’Donoghue 2010; Ahmed & Sugiyarto 2012). However, the impact of current global health crisis on remittances and employment trends of overseas Pakistanis is much more skeptical.......