QUETTA: Two more polio cases were found in Balochistan on Saturday, raising the number of victims of the crippling virus to 23 in the province in 2020.
The provincial department of health said that the first case was reported from Chiltan Town of Quetta, where a four-year-old boy was diagnosed with poliovirus.
Another case was reported from the Barshor tehsil of Pishin district, where a 15-month-old child tested positive for the crippling virus.
Health officials said that the samples of the affected children were collected a few days ago and the laboratory reports had confirmed that the babies had contracted the virus.
This year’s provincial tally rises to 23 with latest cases
The number of polio cases detected in Balochistan this year so far has risen to 23 after confirmation of fresh cases.
Quetta district has so far reported three cases of the crippling virus. Polio cases were also reported from Pishin, Killa Abdullah and other parts of the province.
Quetta, Pishin, and Killa Abdullah have been declared sensitive districts regarding the presence of poliovirus amid thousands of chronic refusals to vaccination.
“Parents should ensure that their children are given polio drops during vaccination campaigns,” a health official appealed in a statement issued to the press.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world battling the crippling virus.
The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) has declared that the epidemiological situation in Pakistan is extremely worrying and disappointing as the outbreak of wild poliovirus in the southern part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continues alongside the core reservoirs of Karachi and Quetta.
“If no mass vaccination takes place, there will be many more polio cases than expected, pre-Covid-19, by the end of the year,” warns a report of the IMB.
The top global health body provides an independent assessment of the progress being made by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in the detection and interruption of polio transmission globally.
Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2020