PESHAWAR: The positivity level of Covid-19 has dropped below 5 five per cent in all high-risk districts including Peshawar amid plan by the health department to ensure strict compliance with standard operating procedures in the hard-hit areas to prevent outbreak of the pandemic again.

Overall Covid-19 positivity level of swabs from suspected people has dropped to 2.2 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the lowest level since early this year, according to a government report.

The province has been conducting more than 10,000 tests per day for the past few days to have clear picture of the quantum of infection. The positivity has been on decline for the past 10 days.

Also the rate of coronavirus infectivity declined in high-risk districts of the province, especially in Peshawar and Mardan where the positivity level had reached above 25 per cent a fortnight ago.

Peshawar has so far recorded 2,054 mortalities of the total 4,185 in the province. The capital city has also recorded the highest number of Covid-19 patients with a tally of 49,591 of the province-wide 135,162 cases so far.

Health dept plans to ensure strict adherence to SOPs

A health department report said that coronavirus positivity in Peshawar was 4.8 per cent, in Abbottabad 3.8 per cent, in Swabi 3 per cent, in Mardan 2.3 per cent, in Nowshera 2.2 per cent, in Charsadda 1.3 per cent and in Swat 1.2 per cent.

Officials said that the government was still focusing on the high-risk districts where situation could deteriorate if the people ignored social distancing, hand washing and making crowds.

The government, they said, issued directives to all districts, especially the endemic ones, to ensure adherence to standard operating procedure as lockdown ended all over the province.

“The government has issued directives to secretaries of all line departments to ensure vaccination of their staff by respective timeline. We hope it will speed up the vaccination process,” they said.

Officials said that through a letter, all departments were given deadline to inoculate respective staff or face action.

It has yet to be decided as to which kind of action will be taken against those not complying with the directives but officials said that secretaries would face disciplinary action.

They said that the staff may face stoppage of their salaries. It was discussed in a meeting with Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz two days ago to ensure immunisation of staff of government departments in the fulfillment of the instructions issued by National Command and Operation Centre recently.

Officials said that many tertiary and district headquarters hospitals were opening the outpatients departments for non-Covid-19 patients but they had been asked by health department to attend limited number of patients and strictly adopt SOPs. The virus was still around and the people had to abide by prevent aspects, they said. So far, 900,000 people have been administered Covid-19 shots and number of centres is being increased from 482 to 700 within a week.

“We have to immunise 1.9 million target people by December this year for which awareness campaigns have also been launched at the district level,” they said.

According to health experts, decrease in positivity level can be result of hot season due to which most people stay indoors and avoid exposure to the infection. However, people continue to die of the virus due to late arrival at the hospitals besides old age and underlying health conditions.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2021

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