PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department has detected coronavirus in five people, who returned from Britain recently, and is waiting for confirmation if the infected people have the UK’s strain of virus.
The health department started tracing the people, who returned from UK, on the instruction of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to see if they had dangerous Covid-19 virus, officials said.
They said that NCOC had sent a list of 103 people to the health department last week and the same was dispatched to the district administration and district health officers concerned to find out them and test them for coronavirus.
Samples sent to NIH to ascertain virus strain
“However, we found 47 people in the province and five of them were found to be careers of Covid-19 normal strain. The province can detect only normal strain of the virus. Therefore, we have sent the sample of the positive people to National Institute of Health Islamabad to confirm if the virus detected in them is from UK,” said the officials.
They said that health department informed NCOC that the remaining people couldn’t be found in the province as they were permanent residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but were residing in other provinces.
They said that NCOC had sent lists of people, who came from UK, to collect samples from them and find out the virus, which was detected there and was considered more dangerous than the strain of virus in Pakistan.
Officials said that four of the positive persons belonged to Peshawar and one to Abbottabad. They added that NIH was likely to share results of the samples of patients in a day or two after which the findings would be shared with NCOC.
Meanwhile, KP has recorded 12 deaths and 226 new Covid-19 cases. So far, 1,695 have passed away and 59,955 confirmed patients have been reported in the province. During the last 24 hours, 357 patients recovered from the pandemic, making the number of recovered people from the infection 55,025. The province has 3,235 active cases.
Seven of the deceased persons belonged to Peshawar, two each to Mardan and Swabi and one to Abbottabad. Incidence of Covid-19 is decreasing as the positivity rate of swabs from suspected people has dropped to five per cent in the province.
Officials said that positivity ratio in Peshawar dropped to 7 per cent from 14 per cent a week ago and Abbottabad was also showing down trend as positivity was 6.5 per cent there compared to over 10 per cent.
Peshawar continues to record more cases and mortalities as the number of people, who died due to Covid-19, is 831 in the provincial capital. It is about 50 per cent of the total mortalities in the province.
Meanwhile, the district administration continues to seals business centres on account of violating the precautionary measures against Covid-19.
A press release said that the administration escalated campaign against the violators of the standard operating procedures and closed down scores of shops and markets. The drive would continue to ensure adherence to SOPs.
Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ali Asghar said that the battle against Covid-19 was not possible without cooperation of people.
He asked the business community and general people to comply with the directives and wear masks, keep social distancing and adopt the habit of hand washing to prevent spread of the virus.
The official said that the only way to avoid transiting the infection to people was strict compliance with the SOPs.
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2021