PESHAWAR: The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) claimed eight more lives and infected 294 more residents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday.

According to a health department report, the death toll from the virus in the province has reached 389, the most fatalities recorded by any province until now.

Of the new deaths, two were reported in Peshawar and one each in Swabi, Swat, Buner, Abbottabad, Haripur and Kohat.

Peshawar has recorded most Covid-19 fatalities and cases as the virus killed 227 residents and infected 2,898.

The city recorded 93 more cases during the last 24 hours.

Health dept asks IMU to ensure staff presence on duty during Eid days

Swat has recorded the second highest number of virus deaths in the province (31) after Peshawar. Its confirmed cases totalled 669.

According to the report, Swat recorded 24 new patients in the day.

The number of confirmed cases in Abbottabad district reached 185 after 18 residents tested positive for the virus. The district has so far recorded 11 deaths from the virus.

Nowshera recorded seven more cases, which took the district’s tally to 213. Twelve residents have so far died of the virus in the district.

Eight more cases were reported in Charsadda, whose virus tally reached 168. The virus has so far claimed six lives in the district.

Eight residents have so far died of coronavirus in Malakand, which has recorded four new cases taking the region’s virus tally to 337.

The number of confirmed cases in Shangla reached 95 after the detection of four new ones. The district has so far recorded two deaths from the virus.

Two more residents of Kohat tested positive for the virus taking the district’s tally to 112. Nine people have so far died of the virus in the district.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,396 patients have so far recovered from the infection. Of them, 99 are fresh cases, who have been sent home after they tested negative for the virus.

Peshawar division has recorded 248 deaths, 3,456 confirmed cases and 421 recoveries, Mardan division 35 deaths, 496 cases and 229 recoveries, Malakand division 63 fatalities, 1,842 cases and 904 recoveries, Hazara division 22 deaths, 459 cases and 252 recoveries, Kohat division five deaths, 247 cases and 148 recoveries, Bannu division three fatalities, 99 cases and 73 recoveries, and Dera Ismail Khan division two deaths, 97 cases and 70 recoveries.

In the day, the province’s case fatality rate (CFR) was recorded 5.06 per cent compared to Friday’s 5.15 per cent, highest in the country.

Peshawar’s CFR was 7.83 per cent against Friday’s 8.02 per cent, highest in any city of the country.

Eight new deaths from the virus were reported in the province during the last 24 hours and of them, two were recorded by Peshawar suggesting 25 per cent of the province’s fatalities are from the city.

Meanwhile, the health department has issued instructions to the independent monitoring unit (IMU) to ensure that staff members perform duties during Eid holidays.

It also asked the IMU to ensure the strict monitoring of the situation at the district and provincial levels and the presence of staff in hospitals, especially those assigned duties in accident and emergency departments and Covid-19 wards, and report absenteeism for strict action.

The department said besides disciplinary action, the absentees would also be punished with salary deduction.

It said the government had already cancelled Eid holidays of the essential staff in view of Covid-19 pandemic, so the IMU would inspect the offices at provincial and district levels and ensure the presence of the staff on duty during Eid days.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2020