KP has highest Covid-19 fatality rate in country

Updated April 05, 2020

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A World Health Organisation report said the nationwide case fatality rate (CFR) was 1.42 per cent.
— Reuters
A World Health Organisation report said the nationwide case fatality rate (CFR) was 1.42 per cent. — Reuters

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has recorded over three per cent mortality from novel coronavirus (Covid-19), the highest in the country, say physicians.

They told Dawn that the asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases weren’t tested in the province due to limited testing capacity, so they later developed complications and faced critical situation.

A World Health Organisation report said the nationwide case fatality rate (CFR) was 1.42 per cent.

Officials at the health department, however, said it was due to the best practices that the province had conducted lesser tests according to the WHO’s guidelines and the deaths occurred in older people with travel history to endemic countries and there was no laxity on part of staff members.

According to the WHO report issued on April 3, KP has so far conducted 2,369 coronavirus tests and detected 343 confirmed cases, while 11 deaths have been reported, which is more than three per cent of the confirmed cases.

Physicians blame over 3pc CFR on failure to follow case identification protocols

Also, 30 patients recovered from the disease.

The number of virus cases in the province went up from 78 on March 24 to 311 on April 3 showing three-fold increase.

The country has so far recorded 2,450 confirmed Covid-19 cases after conducting 30,308 tests, while the deaths and recoveries total 35 and 126, respectively.

Islamabad has tested 2,395 people for coronavirus and recorded 68 positive cases; Punjab 15,134 tests, 920 positive cases and 11 deaths; Sindh 7,504 tests, 783 confirmed cases and 11 deaths; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1,938 tests, 311 confirmed cases and 11 deaths; Balochistan 2,171 tests, 169 confirmed cases and one death; Azad Jammu and Kashmir 322 tests, nine confirmed cases, and Gilgit-Baltistan 844 tests, 190 confirmed cases and three deaths. Of them, 126 patients have fully recovered and have been discharged from the health centres, while 10 cases are reported to be in critical condition.

The physicians said KP had recorded the highest coronavirus mortality rate for not following proper protocols for case identification.

They added that the suspected cases were sent home after doctors took samples and until results were received, the patients got serious and reached critical condition.

According to them, if patients have symptoms, they should be isolated until test results are received. If they test negative, they should be allowed to go home with the advice for follow ups. Suspected patients should be admitted up to 14 days in quarantine and if they develop symptoms, they are shifted to high dependency unit (HDU).

The physicians expressed concern about the province having the highest coronavirus fertility rate in the country.

However, senior health officials claimed that KP had a better health system compared with other provinces that led to the identification of patients in line with the WHO guidelines and therefore, fewer tests were conducted.

The epidemiological analysis of KP’s Covid-19 surveillance data reveals that the affected districts included Mardan (88 cases), Peshawar (64), Kohat (20) and Mansehra and Dir Lower (nine) respectively, while around 21 per cent of the cases were reported in the quarantine facilities established for travellers and suspects.

According to it, most of the reported cases are men (69 per cent). Women make 31 per cent of the cases with female-male ratio reaching 1:2.2.

Sixty-two per cent of the confirmed Covid-19 cases in KP are in the 19-50 years age group, 23 per cent above 50 and 12 per cent under 18, while seven of the total deaths (78 per cent) occurred in patient aged above 50 years. Most deaths occurred among the age group of 36-85 years.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2020