PESHAWAR: Coronavirus claimed 49 lives on Tuesday as a study showed that positivity of the virus increased in all age groups except the people up to 10 and 15 years during all the three waves in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
So far, Covid-19 has killed 2,732 persons and infected 101,045 in the province since its onset, according to a report released by health department.
As usual Peshawar, the epicentre of the virus, reported 19 mortalities, followed by Mardan, another hard-hit district that lost nine persons, while four each died in Swat and Abbottabad, three died in Swabi, two each fell prey to the pandemic in Bannu, Kohat, Dir Upper and Bajaur and one each died in Hangu and Haripur.
The study conducted by the director of institute of pathology and diagnostic medicine, Khyber Medical University, Dr Asif Ali and research associate Nasir Ahmad, at Public Health Reference Laboratory (PHRL) found that positivity in age group one to 10 years was 18.6 per cent, 3.9 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively during the first, second and third waves of Covid-19.
49 more fall prey to pandemic in the province
The first wave prevailed from end of February 2020 till end of October 2020 and the second wave from November 2020 to February 2021 while the third wave started from March 2021 and still continues.
A total of 208,000 people including 72 per cent males and 28 per cent females were tested during the first wave and 264,500 people including 65 per cent males and 35 per cent females during the second wave while 76,000 persons including 61 per cent males and 39 per cent females were tested during the third wave (only in March 2021). The study showed surge in tests performed on women.
The PHRL at KMU that pioneered Covid-19 testing in the province when the pandemic began undertook the study on the instructions of Health Secretary Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah to ascertain the quantum of infections among all age groups and utilise the data for future planning regarding the virus.
During the first wave, 36 per cent tests were performed in age group 16 to30 years with 12.6 per cent positivity ratio, 23 per cent tests in age group 31 to 40 years with 16.7 per cent positivity, 14 per cent in 41 to 50 with 18.4, 9 per cent positivity, 4.9, 9 per cent in 51-60 with 23 per cent positivity rate, five per cent in one to 10 years, three per cent in 61 to 70 years with 32.7 per cent positivity rate and one per cent for 71 and above with 34.7 per cent positivity rate.
During the second wave, 39 per cent tests were conducted in age group 16 to 30 years with five per cent positivity, 18 per cent in 11 to 15 years with 3.6 per cent positivity, 18 per cent in 31 to 40 years with seven per cent positivity, 10 per cent in 41 to 50 age group with eight per cent positivity, six per cent in one to 10 years with 3.9 per cent detection of virus, six per cent in 50 to 60 years with 10.1 per cent positivity, two per cent in 60 to 70 years with 13 per cent positivity rate and 12.6 per cent emerged positive among 71 and above people, who comprised one per cent of the tests.
During the ongoing third wave of the pandemic, 37 per cent tests were performed in age group 16 to 30 years with 6.6 per cent positivity, 24 per cent in 11 to 15 years with 3.6 per cent positivity, 16 per cent in 31 to 40 years which found 9.1 per cent infected, eight per cent in 41 to 50 years with 11.5 per cent positivity, seven per cent in one to 10 years with 4.2 per cent infected, five per cent in 51 to 60 years with 13.6 positivity rate, two per cent in 61 to 70 years with 16 per cent infected in them and one per cent in 71 and above with 20.3 per cent positivity rate.
According to the study, overall positivity remained 16 per cent, 5.80 per cent and 7.10 per cent in the first, second and third wave of the pandemic, respectively.
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021