PESHAWAR: The health department is scaling up contact tracing of Covid-19 patients after rise in the number of cases in other provinces as three more died of the pandemic and 150 fresh patients were diagnosed with the virus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday.
“National Command and Operation Centre has asked the provinces including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to enhance testing of suspected people, especially the contacts of the confirmed patients in view of the fourth wave of the pandemic,” officials of health department told Dawn.
They said that situation in the province seemed under control as cases and mortalities were not that higher but NCOC advised them in Sunday’s meeting to speed up testing and take action accordingly.
Three more die of coronavirus and 150 new cases recorded in KP
“Now we would be testing at least 10 persons close to the positive patients. In case of detection of more cases, recommendations would be forwarded to the administration for imposing smart lockdown in the respective areas,” said the officials.
The province’s death toll due to coronavirus swelled to 4,362 and cases to 139,463, according to a report of health department.
It said that of the confirmed patients, 133,321 including 101 recorded during the last 24 hours, recovered from the infectious ailment whereas the active cases in the province numbered 1,780. A total of 10,117 tests were conducted in the province.
One death was recorded each in Peshawar, Swabi and Abbottabad. Peshawar registered 64 new patients and Nowshera 13 while the count of cases in other districts remained in single digit.
Officials said that screening of people coming from Afghanistan was in progress at Torkham border. Most of the Afghan students studying in Pakistani universities were being sent back after they tested positive for the pandemic whereas the negative ones were being quarantined for a week before allowing them to join their educational institutions.
The same modus operandi was in place for about 4,000 Pakistanis, who had crossed the border to fly abroad in connection with their jobs in Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern countries when there was no flight to those countries back home, they said.
“The Pakistanis are now returning due to lack of flights from Afghanistan but they are being vaccinated and tested. The positive ones among them are quarantined. They would be allowed once they turn negative,” said the officials.
They said that the department wanted to subject to testing all the returnees from Afghanistan because of the fear of India (Delta) virus, which was detected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad and other provinces.
They said that positive samples from the border area would be sent to National Institute of Health Islamabad for retesting to find out the presence of India, UK, Brazilian and South African strain of the virus
Meanwhile, the virus continues to infect and kill the healthcare providers as so far 100 doctors, 59 paramedical staffers, four nurses and one medical student have died due to the infection they contracted in public sector hospitals of the country.
The report said that 16,186 (97 per cent) of the infected health workers had recovered. Sindh has lost 57, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 44, Punjab 29, Islamabad 13, Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir each nine and Gilgit-Baltistan has lost three health workers to Covid-19 so far, according a report of Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination.
It said that countrywide 16,671 infections among health professionals were recorded. The infected health workers include 60 per cent doctors, 26 per cent paramedics and 14 per cent nurses.
Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2021