The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Saturday lifted lockdowns from 89 areas of the province after a significant decrease in reported cases from these hotspots, the health department's focal person Dr Iftikharuddin said.
Lockdown restrictions were lifted from eight areas in Peshawar, five in Mardan, 15 in Nowshera, 12 in Bajaur, eight in Abbottabad, five in Lower Dir, four in Buner and Charsadda each, three in Haripur, Swat and Malakand each, and two areas in Upper Chitral, Upper Dir and Bannu each.
Dr Iftikharuddin said the government's 'smart lockdown' policy had resulted in an 80 per cent decline in the number of reported cases from these areas. He added that no cases had been reported for the last six days from the area under lockdown in Mardan while Nowshera district reported one case on Friday compared to 31 cases on June 21.
Giving further details, he said just one case was reported from Mansehra district on Saturday, down from 32 cases on June 22, whereas Bajaur district reported three cases yesterday compared to 12 cases on June 16.
The official added that there had been a 70pc decrease in the number of infections reported from Swat and Peshawar.
Over 50pc coronavirus patients recover
More than 50pc of coronavirus patients in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have recovered from the disease against a nationwide recovery rate of 48.08pc.
The province has so far recorded 27,506 Covid-19 cases and 15,520 of them (50.42pc) have recovered, the World Health Organisation said in a report.
Khyber Medical University dean (public health) Prof Ziaul Haq told Dawn.com that new guidelines had led to a spike in number of recovered patients.
“The initial recommendation to confirm the clearance of the virus, and thus allow discharge from isolation, required a patient to be clinically recovered and to have two negative RT-PCR results on sequential samples taken at least 24 hours apart,” he said.
Prof Ziaul Haq said according to the new WHO guidelines and latest research, if a patient didn’t show any symptoms of the virus at least after 10 days and stayed without temperature and other symptoms for 72 hours without taking any medicines, then he or she was put in the list of recovered people.
“For example, if a patient had symptoms for two days, then the patient can be released from isolation after 13 days from the date of symptom onset. For a patient with symptoms for 14 days, he/she can be discharged 17 days after date of symptom onset. For a patient with symptoms for 30 days, he/she can be discharged 33 days after symptom onset,” he said.
The dean said under the new guideline adopted by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on June 23, Covid-19 patients were contacted over the phone and asked if they had any symptoms and if they didn’t have symptoms, they’re declared recovered.
“Earlier, the patients waited for the test results, which took a long time, for being declared negative and recovered,” he said.