Relief as 50pc of infected patients defeat deadly virus

Updated 02 Jul 2020

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NIH warns of peak occurrence of nine diseases including Covid-19 during monsoon. — Taimur Jhagra's Twitter/File
NIH warns of peak occurrence of nine diseases including Covid-19 during monsoon. — Taimur Jhagra's Twitter/File

ISLAMABAD: While the number of coronavirus cases has declined by 40 per cent, around 50pc of the total infected patients have defeated the deadly virus across the country.

According to data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday, as many as 100,802 Covid-19 positive patients have recovered, making it almost 50pc of the total detected cases.

The country reported 3,556 Covid-19 cases and 90 deaths over the past 24 hours, taking the national tally of cases to 216,097 and fatalities to 4,446.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) Sajid Shah, while talking to Dawn, said that because of the efforts by the federal and provincial governments and enforcement of smart lockdowns, the spread of the virus had been contained. “While the number of new cases has been reduced, patients have been recovering at a faster pace, narrowing the gap between the infected and recovered patients,” he added.

NIH warns of peak occurrence of nine diseases including Covid-19 during monsoon

Mr Shah said it was encouraging that the NCOC recommendations were being implemented across the country due to which almost 90,000 less cases of Covid-19 were reported by the end of June.

It was feared that cases would cross the 300,000 mark by the end of June, but the number was just over 210,000.

High alert for nine diseases

A government body on Wednesday issued a high alert regarding the spread of nine diseases, including Covid-19, and medium alert for four other diseases during the coming monsoon season.

The advisory has been issued by the Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division (FEDSD), National Institute of Health (NIH), to all the provinces and the federal capital.

The seasonal awareness and alert letter (SAAL), available with Dawn, states that there are chances of epidemic-prone infectious diseases during the summer/monsoon season.

The high alert has been issued for nine diseases — Covid-19, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), cholera (acute watery diarrhea), dengue fever, leishmaniasis (a parasitic disease), malaria, measles and poliomyelitis and typhoid fever (XDR). The medium alert relates to four diseases — chikungunya, diphtheria (infection caused by strains of bacteria), meningococcal meningitis (caused by a specific bacterium) and pertussis (also known as whooping cough).

The advisory warns that there are high chances of spread of Civid-19 and CCHF during the forthcoming Eidul Azha. “CCHF is caused by a tick-borne virus (nairovirus) of the Bunyaviridae family with the case fatality rate ranging between 10pc and 40pc. The CCHF virus can be transmitted to people either by tick bites or through contact with infected animal or its blood/tissues,” it states.

According to the advisory, the movement of sacrificial animals ahead of Eidul Azha significantly carries the risk of CCHF disease transmission due to increased human-animal interaction, visit to crowded places, direct contact with infectious materials and animals in the markets.

“The risk of Covid-19 transmission is also expected to rise. This advisory aims to alert different stakeholders, including human and animal healthcare providers, to take timely steps for the prevention and control of CCHF and Covid-19,” it states.

The advisory says there is currently no vaccine available for CCHF so people should take precautionary measures to avoid the disease.

“During visit to cattle markets, people should use full sleeves and light-coloured cloths, gloves, face mask and hand sanitisers and manage social distancing. They should avoid all crowded places, including large family gathering during Eid and sacrifice of animals. People should wash hands thoroughly with soap after coming in contact with animal or its blood,” it suggests.

The main purpose of SAAL is to alert the health authorities concerned, professionals at all levels and the general public to facilitate them for timely and efficient response to the outbreaks/epidemics.

According to a statement, the advisory is for the monsoon season up to September. The NIH advised the federal, provincial and district health departments as well as other stakeholders to keep a continuous watch on the anticipated seasonal public health threats and take all preventive or curative measures in this regard.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2020