Pak polio cases rise to 119 this year

Pakistani health worker administers polio drops to a child during a polio vaccination campaign in southwest Pakistan's Quetta

Islamabad, ¬†Four more polio cases have been reported in Pakistan — two each from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) — taking the tally for the current year to 119.

According to a notification issued on Friday by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad, the cases in Sindh have been reported from Sukkur and Tando Allahyar districts, and in KP from Tank and Bannu districts, reports Dawn news.

Coordinator for the National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for Polio Rana Safdar said that the polio virus had been rampant throughout 2019 due to a number of factors.

“Two follow-up national campaigns are planned in February and April 2020 that along with efforts for improving the routine immunisation coverage. However, collective efforts at all levels are imperative,” he told Dawn news.

During the current year as many as 119 cases have been reported as compared to 12 cases in 2018 and only eight in2017.

Provincial data for the current year shows that 83 cases have been reported from KP, 21 from Sindh, nine from Balochistan and six from Punjab.

There are only two countries in the world – Pakistan and Afghanistan – where polio cases are being reported.

Pakistan remains under a polio-linked travel restriction imposed by the World Health Organisation due to which, since 2014, every person travelling abroad has to carry a polio vaccination certificate.