HYDERABAD: Environmental sample of poliovirus from Hyderabad district was reported to be negative in March 2021, making it a poliovirus-free district in the third consecutive (Jan-Mar) month, according to the district administration.

Environmental sampling is done to determine presence of poliovirus in sewage. The sample is collected from Tulsi Das pumping station which is one of the designated sites for collecting such samples.

The sample of poliovirus remained positive throughout 2019. In 2020, except for April and Oct, samples remained positive last year. Two poliovirus cases, both girls,

were reported in Hyderabad in 2019 after seven and half a years when the last positive case was reported in Jan 2012.

The samples were collected through “grab” and advanced method of “Bag Mediated Filtration System (BMFS)”. In the wake of pandemic-driven lockdown, anti-polio campaigns had to be postponed between April to July in 2020 and the campaigns were resumed in Aug last year amidst standard operating procedures.

Since Aug 2020 to April 2, 2021, six campaigns have been successfully run in the district under national and provincial emergency operation centers. Close to 300,000 children of five years of age were vaccinated in each campaign.

The administration claimed that three negative sample results of poliovirus indicated that campaigns had been successful completely.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2021

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