PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday recorded 29 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the province-wide tally to 221.

The new cases included 16 from Peshawar, three from Lower Dir and one each from Bajaur, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Mansehra, Mardan and five pilgrims from Iran, a report by health department said.

Of the fresh cases, three from Upper Dir. were confirmed. The daily report by health department said that a meeting of clinical management committee was held to evaluate and streamline the care aspect in dealing with the crisis.

In Lower Dir, three persons, all close relatives of a woman who had died of Covid-19 in Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar, tested positive for the viral infection on Monday.

Total number of patients in the province reaches 221

Dr Irshad Ali, the deputy district health officer, told journalists that they recorded five cases so far. Of the 52 suspected patients, results of 23 have arrived while reports of 29 are awaited. He said that 19 suspected patients were cleared.

The district administration has declared 127 homes as quarantine where 244 people reside.

Dr Irshad said that the newly-infected people included two sons and a daughter of a woman, who had died of Covid-19 at HMC Peshawar where she was admitted for some heart ailment but tested positive for Covid-19 because of her visit to Saudi Arabia in connection with Umra.

In Mardan, the district administration has quarantined 164 foreigners at the Tableeghi Markaz following emergence of three confirmed Covid-19 cases a few days ago.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Abid Wazir said that Tableeghi Markaz had been quarantined. So far, Mardan has recorded 79 cases, all from Manga village where the Pakistan’s first death from the pandemic was reported last week.

“We have 18 ventilators in the district’s hospitals that can be used for the treatment of critically-ill patients,” said Mr Wazir. Except Manga, there was no endemic place in Mardan, he said. Test results of 191 people were awaited, he added.

He said that there was no shortage of food items in the area. He asked people to stay home as part of strategy to prevent the outbreak.

In Bajaur tribal district, the number of Covid-19 patients reached two as a woman tested positive for the virus on Monday.

Focal person for coronavirus Dr Fazal Rahman told Dawn that the 35-year-old old woman had returned from Saudi Arabia after performing Umra a few days ago. According to him, the patient was admitted to district headquarters hospital’s isolation ward on March 23 after showing symptoms of coronavirus.

The official said swab sample of the patient was sent to the National Institute of Health, Islamabad on March 24 that had earlier declared her negative for the virus. However, her test for the coronavirus was declared positive in another result received to the health department on Monday morning.

In Haripur, the second Covid-2019 case was confirmed during two days.

The infected person had returned from Saudi Arabia two days ago after performing Umra.

A health official said that the infected man had direct contact with his four family members, who were also quarantined in their home while more than six persons whom he met during the last 14 days were tracked and their sample collection was underway.

In Swabi, results of test for coronavirus of the four patients are awaited.

So far 21 suspected patients have been admitted to hospitals in the district, including four positive people with foreign travel history. They are under-treatment in Chota Lahor civil hospital and Category-C hospital Topi.

Meanwhile, owing to lockdown in the district, only vegetable shops remained open while all other shops and markets remained closed.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2020