PESHAWAR: Sixteen people, including a medical doctor, died of coronavirus and 521 people were infected with the virus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday with Swabi district recording seven cases of Delta variant.
According to a health department report, three deaths were reported in Peshawar, Swat and Dera Ismail districts each and two in Abbottabad and Bannu districts each and one in Kohat, Haripur and Mardan districts.
Among the deceased were Dr Ihsnaul Haq, deputy director (medical services) at the pathology department of the Ayub Medical Complex, Abbottabad, who breathed his last early on Saturday.
Also in the day, Peshawar district recorded 248 new cases of coronavirus, Mansehra 73, Abbottabad 52, Kohat 29, Nowshera 24, Swat 17, Swabi 12 and Lower Chitral 10.
Deputy director of Abbottabad hospital among deceased
The report said the province’s death toll from Covid-19 reached 4,540, including 2,192 in Peshawar. The provincial capital has so far recorded 54,580 of the province’s total 147,973 coronavirus cases.
According to the report, 95 per cent (137,575) of the infected people in the province have recovered from the virus. A total of 285 recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours.
Currently, the province has 5,858 active coronavirus cases, including 57 per cent men.
The Provincial Doctors’ Association regretted the death of Dr Ihsnaul Haq and said the number of health workers losing life to the virus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had reached 107 and they included 69 doctors.
It demanded the immediate payment of compensation to the heirs of all of them.
Meanwhile, officials of the health department said seven cases of Delta variant of coronavirus were reported in Swabi, which was one of the high-risk districts in the province.
They said the department was grappling with the challenge posed by the growing Delta variant cases.
The officials said last month, the province found 29 of its residents to be infected with Delta, Alpha and Beta types of the virus.
They said Peshawar recorded 16.1 Copvid-19 positivity rate, Nowshera 7.1 per cent and Swabi 5.4 per cent.
The officials said they wanted strict enforcement of the standard operating procedures to stem the spread of coronavirus, especially Delta variant, which caused high hospitalisations, mortalities and infectivity rate, so the district administrations should follow the new directives of the National Command and Operation Centre for the purpose in letter and spirit.
They said the number of coronavirus-related deaths and cases was on the rise in the province calling for stricter measures to slow the spread of the infection.
The officials said 1,071 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospitals across the province and 42 of them were in critical condition and on ventilator.
Meanwhile, a World Health Organisation report said the hospital bed occupancy by coronavirus patients was 37 per cent in Peshawar, 54 per cent in Abbottabad, 32 per cent in Nowshera, 34 per cent in Swabi, 26 per cent in Swat and 17 per cent in Mardan.
It added that the province had allocated a total of 2,385 hospital beds for such cases.
The officials said the number of visitors to mass Covid-19 vaccination centres in Peshawar, Mardan and Swat wasn’t satisfactory and needed improvement.
They said eight districts, including Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Swabi, Kurram, Shangla, Kohat and Battagram, had recorded the highest vaccination rates in the province.
Meanwhile, the district administration of Peshawar arrested 68 people for violating Covid-19 precautions in markets and bus stands on Saturday, a news release said.
According to it, Peshawar DC Khalid Mahmood urged the people to adhere to social distancing rules, ensure hand hygiene and avoid crowded places to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2021