Coronavirus positivity reaches highest level in Peshawar

Published August 24, 2021
A senior citizen receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Peshawar. — AFP/File
A senior citizen receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Peshawar. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: The district administration again warned the unvaccinated people of blocking their mobile phone SIM cards after August 31 as positivity for Covid-19 soared to 16.3 per cent in Peshawar, the highest level in the country, on Monday.

Coronavirus claimed 22 more lives and infected 573 persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including six in Peshawar, five in Abbottabad, four in Swat, two each in Mansehra, Dera Ismail Khan and Mardan and one in Bannu, according to a report prepared by health department.

The report said that of the new cases, Peshawar recorded 150, Abbottabad 76, Haripur 64, Mardan 57, Dera Ismail Khan 45, Mansehra 34, Kohat 29, Chitral Lower 26, Charsadda 21 and Swat registered 20 cases.

It said that the province’s death toll was 4,819 and number of Covid-19 cases was 157,721. Of the infected people, 145,144 patients, including 451 reported during the 24 hours, have recovered from the infectious disease. A total of 10,003 suspected people were tested, it said. The province has now 7,758 active Covid-19 patients.

Mobile SIMs of unvaccinated people to be blocked after Aug 31

Khalid Mahmood, the deputy commissioner of Peshawar, has asked the people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by August 31 as mobile SIM cards of the unvaccinated would be blocked after expiry of the deadline.

Peshawar, the hardest-hit district by coronavirus, has recorded half of the province’s cases and deaths. It is also host to the highest number of active patients. The government has started door-to-door vaccination drive in Peshawar division to put brakes on the transmission of virus.

A meeting, held here with deputy commissioner in the chair, reviewed vaccination scenario in the district and asked the assistant commissioners concerned to supervise different areas of the city to expedite the immunisation process, a press release said.

The deputy commissioner also directed the district health officer to ensure presence of staff in the vaccination centres as well as stock of the injections to be provided to the people in time. He called upon the people to cooperate with the vaccinators so stop transmission of the virus.

The deputy commissioner also instructed the officials to display banners and make announcements regarding the deadline for vaccination so that people could be saved from suspension of the mobile SIM cards. There will be no free Covid-19 vaccination after end of the current month.

Officials said that notification regarding blocking mobile SIM cards hadn’t been issued yet as National Command and Operation Centre was being approached in that connection.

Meanwhile, the positivity for coronavirus swabs in Abbottabad was recorded 8.6 per cent, in Mardan 7.3 per cent, in Swabi 5.2 per cent and in Nowshera 4.5 per cent.

Abbottabad has the highest bed occupancy of 72 per cent, Swabi has 65 per cent, Peshawar has 55 per cent, Nowshera has 40 per cent, Mardan has 36 per cent and Swat 19 has per cent bed occupancy.

The report said that number of hospitalisation in different areas of the province was 1,600 including 240 new patients admitted to hospitals during the last 24 hours. Of the admitted patients, 55 were on ventilators, it said. The province has still 340 unused ventilators.

Case fatality rate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was three per cent but Peshawar, Mardan, Swat, Bannu, Bajaur and Dera Ismail Khan had higher CFR, said the report.

Overall Covid-19 positivity kept rising for the past four week, starting from 4.1 per cent, 5.2 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 6.3 per cent, respectively.

Health officials said they were concerned about low vaccination rate in Peshawar because it was hub of Covid-19 and unvaccinated people were most likely to be infected. The government has immunised more than seven million people of the total target of 19 million people above 18 years in the province. The department has started vaccination in Peshawar division to inoculate 40 per cent of the population by end of the August.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2021

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