PESHAWAR: The provincial government has announced that markets will remain closed on Fridays and Saturdays as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has recorded 14 deaths and 890 Covid-19 cases.
“It’s the highest number of deaths and cases in a single day. Bed occupancy in hospitals is increasing. Patients are brought to hospitals in the last stage. Swat, Peshawar, Nowshera and Mardan continue to record more cases,” officials told this scribe.
Of the total deaths, 10 occurred in Peshawar and one each in Nowshera, Swabi, Kohat and Abbottabad.
The home and tribal affairs department through a notification modified its earlier directives for lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays. Now complete lockdown will be observed on Fridays and Saturdays. The decision was made on the request of traders, it said.
KP records highest number of Covid cases in single day
The provincial capital has been the mainstay of the virus since its advent early last year as it has recorded 340, 69 of the overall cases registered in the province. It has recorded 1,195 mortalities, more than 50 per cent of the total 2,260 lives claimed by the pandemic so far.
Peshawar has 3.5 per cent case fatality rate (CFR) against the province’s 2.7 per cent. Mardan has five per cent CFR, the highest in the province.
Overall positivity of Covid-19 in Swabi is 6.2 per cent and 18.1 per cent in Peshawar, the highest rate recorded by any district in the country.
The health department has been conducting 7,000 tests on average every day since start of March. It has vaccinated 32,000 frontline health workers against Covid-19 while 15,000 have been administered the second dose of the jab.
So far, 15,500 senior citizens have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Of the total infected persons, 89 per cent have recovered as the health department reported 310 more recoveries during the last 24 hours, making the total count 73, 481.
Officials said that 70 per cent of the people falling prey to coronavirus had co-morbidities and 85 per cent were above 60 years and they checked into hospitals with almost zero chances of survival.
They said that the youngsters and healthy people below the age group of 60 years stood good chances of recovery but the older ones were at risk and therefore should be brought to the health facilities on mild symptoms.
“Misconceptions are still ripe about Covid-19 as doctors claim that they know about community-based deaths,” said officials.
They said that people were hesitant to shift the patients in a timely manner and the staff at the hospitals had to encounter the harsh and baseless remarks passed by their relatives in the wards.
“Our healthcare providers are thoroughly professionals as they have been managing the patients despite unbecoming attitude of patients’ attendants,” said officials. They added that people with underlying illnesses should be rushed to hospitals as soon as possible in case of any emergency illness.
“We have detected Covid-19 in 1,719 of the total 1,798 patients, who visited hospitals with influenza-like illnesses in 10 sentinel sites in Malakand division from March 15 to March 21,” they said. Similarly, of the 126 patients came to hospitals with severe acute respiratory infections, 121 tested positive for Covid-19, they added.
Meanwhile, the number of patients continues to swell in hospitals. Khyber Teaching Hospital has 119 patients, Hayatabad Medical Complex has 128 patients, Lady Reading Hospital has 147 Covid-19 patients and the hospital in Nishtarabad has 47 patients.
The health department has activated 5,440 Covid-19 beds in the province-wide facilities, keeping in view the surge in infections. “The medical teaching institutions in Peshawar are gradually withdrawing elective services to focus on Covid-19,” said officials.
They said that they hoped that people would abide by the standard operating procedure regarding the virus. The department is in touch with the chief secretary office to ensure screening of passengers and strengthen patients’ management at the hospitals.
During the last 24 hours, 685 passengers arrived at Bacha Khan International Airport. They were screened by Civil Aviation Authorities and staff of health department.
Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2021