PESHAWAR: The death toll due to coronavirus reached 482 as 10 more persons including a doctor passed away in the province on Monday.

According to health department report, 458 new Covid-19 cases were detected during the last 24 hours, raising the province-wide tally of confirmed patients to 10,485.

The deputy director of coordination at Directorate General Health Services, Dr Babar Shaukat, is also among the newly-diagnosed people for the Covid-19.

Detection of cases in Malakand division has increased with the installation of second PCR machine in Swat.

Health Secretary Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah visited the public health laboratory in Swat on Monday where he inspected the operations and appreciated the work of the district health officer, Dr Mohammad Akram Shah and pathologist Prof Amreek Lal for improvement in Covid-19 diagnosis in Malakand division. He said that more testing helped the government to take timely measures.

MPA Fazal Shakoor and Dr Babar Shaukat among 458 new patients

Flanked by Dr Asif Ali, who is on special duty as public health lab consultant with department of health for establishing Covid-19 laboratories throughout the province, the health secretary said that government wanted to spread the network of laboratories and diagnose more suspected cases to be able to manage the confirmed patients and prevent spread of the virus transmission.

He was informed on the occasion that testing capacity of Swat had reached over 300 cases per day which was the highest number of tests conducted after Peshawar. He was told that the province had so far recognised 12 laboratories for Covid-19 and efforts were afoot to establish more outlets and ensure rapid results of the samples taken from the suspected.

The health department report said that of the newly recorded fatalities two each belonged to Peshawar and one each to Swat, Buner, Dir Lower, Malakand and Kohat. Of the new cases, Peshawar top scored with 168 cases, making its overall tally of confirmed patients 3,855.

The capital city has also recorded 255 deaths due to the pandemic, which is the highest by any district in the province as well as in the country.

As detection has increased with additional machines, Swat recorded 60 new cases where number of patients reached 952 while Dir Lower diagnosed 44 new patients which raised its total cases to 367.

Malakand district diagnosed 32 new cases that made its total count 500.

Abbottabad, where the testing facility is available, recorded 32 new patients and its total number of patients stands at 323 whereas 14 new cases emerged from Karak, making overall tally of patients 85 there.

Khyber tribal district reported 11 new cases, making its total case count 246. The district has also recorded three deaths from the infectious ailment so far.

Shangla and Dir Upper recorded 13 and 12 cases respectively whereas 10 new patients were confirmed in Buner.

Both Peshawar and Malakand divisions where more tests are conducted are reporting most of the cases in the province. Malakand division has so far registered 2,656 cases, second after Peshawar division with 3,855 patients so far.

Hazara division has 691 cases, Mardan 641, Kohat 352, Bannu 109 and Dera Ismail Khan has recorded 108 cases.

The report said that 61 more people recovered from the disease, raising number of total healed people from the virus in the province to 2,973.

Our correspondent from Nowshera adds: Another doctor died of coronavirus in Nowshera on Monday.

Deputy Commissioner Shahid Ali Khan said that Dr Phag Chand had quarantined himself at his home after he tested positive for Covid-19 few days ago. He said his body was sent to his home district Buner for burial.

He retired as medical specialist of district headquarters hospital Nowshera. He also served in Swabi for 10 years. Presently he was running his private clinic in Nowshera.

The medical superintendent of Nowshera DHQ, Mohammad Shoaib, appreciated his services, saying that Dr Phag Chand was a great doctor and was charging just Rs50 as fee from each patient. He said that he was a true humanitarian.

Our correspondent from Charsadda adds: MPA Fazal Shakoor Khan was among 37 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in single day on Monday.

According to health department officials, the number of positive cases reached 262 in the district.

Total 13 patients died of Covid-19 in the district. The lawmaker quarantined himself at his home.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2020