PESHAWAR: Twenty more persons died of coronavirus on Sunday, taking the overall count of province-wide deaths due to the infection to 473.

Two doctors including Dr Mohammad Azam, a Nowshera-based paediatrician, and Dr Aurangzeb Khan, a pathologist of Police Services Hospital Peshawar, also died of Covid-19.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in a statement appreciated their services and extended sympathies to the families of both the medics. The government highly appreciated the services of the frontline workers, he said.

A health department report said that 487 new patients were also confirmed, making the number of total Covid-10 cases 10,027. The pandemic continues to hit Peshawar and Malakand divisions.

Tally of deaths in Peshawar reached 263 with eight new deaths while Swat registered four new fatalities, taking tally of deceased people due to the pandemic there to 45. Two succumbed to the infection in Haripur and one each in Mardan, Dir Upper and Lower, Bajaur, Battagram and Dera Ismail Khan.

Cases in the province cross 10,000 mark

Peshawar also detected 184 fresh patients, followed by Swat with 36, Malakand 34, Dir Lower 31, Khyber 24, Nowshera 19 and Mardan and Dir Upper with eight cases each.

The report said that 2,912 patients so far recovered from the infectious ailment including 103 during the last 24 hours. Malakand and Peshawar divisions continue to remain the major infected regions in the province.

Dr Sareer Badshah, dean and director of higher studies at Islamia College, told Dawn that Peshawar and Malakand divisions with 49.4 per cent KP population shared 81.1 per cent of the province-wide deaths. Both had 78.6 per cent corona positive cases of the province, he added.

The high percentage of deaths in Peshawar and Malakand divisions was due to the two districts (Peshawar and Swat) that accounted for 18.5 per cent of KP population and shared 52.4 per cent of the total positive cases in the province, with minimum recovery rate of 26.7 per cent. Both the areas are responsible for two-third, 65.5 per cent of the total deaths in the province.

Prof Sareer said that if district Peshawar was excluded from Peshawar division, the positive cases remained 8.4 per cent of its 13.1 per cent population and the recovery rate remained 8.7 per cent with significantly low deaths 5.5 per cent in the remaining part of the division including Charsadda, Nowshera, Khyber and Mohmand districts.

Likewise, after exclusion of Swat from Malakand division, the remaining eight districts including Buner, Dir lower and Upper, Shangla, Malakand, Chiral Lower and Upper and Bajaur have normal result, with 29 per cent recovery rate and 10.2 per cent deaths.

In other five divisions of the province including Mardan, Hazara, Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, the positivity of corona cases is low and recovery is significantly high with minimum loss of life of 8.5 per cent, 5.4 per cent, 3.5 per cent, 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent of the their population respectively.

In contrast, in Malakand and Peshawar divisions, recovery is 12.7 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. It is significantly low compared to their proportion of population in the province and against the high percentage of cases, which has caused high mortality rate due to Covid-19.

Our correspondent from Chitral adds: The first patient of Covid-19 died in Chitral when a resident of Khorkashandeh village breathed his last in the small hours of Sunday in a hospital in Peshawar to which he had been referred during Eidul Fitr.

The deceased was reportedly suffering from chest pain having high level of sugar and was admitted to district headquarters hospital four days before the Eid. After his referral to the Peshawar hospital, he showed the symptoms of Covidd-19 and tested positive later on.

His body was shifted to Chitral on Sunday evening for burial, which took place in strict compliance with the SOPs by the officials of tehsil municipal administration, Rescue-1122 and police.

Our correspondent from Khar adds: A man died of coronavirus, taking the tally of fatalities to 17 in Bajaur tribal district.

Officials said that the 70-year-old deceased, who had been admitted to the district headquarters hospital’s isolation ward for the last several days, died on Sunday morning.

They said that the body was sent to his native Lovisam area through Rescue 1122 ambulance where it was handed over to his family by following standard operating procedures.

The officials said that some new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Bajaur on Sunday including a senior doctor and a health worker. They said that the total number of registered patients of Covid-19 in the tribal district was 222.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2020