PESHAWAR: With 21 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recording the cases of Delta variant of coronavirus last month, the physicians have called for vaccination and social distancing to stem the spread of the infection.
Lab scientists believe that most Covid-19 cases reported in the ongoing fourth wave were Delta strain’s.
“We have detected Delta variant in 236 of the total 312 coronavirus samples received in August. It was found in 43 of 51 samples from Peshawar, 29 of 30 from Kohat, 20 of 23 from Haripur, 19 of 24 from Mardan, 18 of 19 from Nowshera, 16 of 16 from Battagram, 13 of 27 from Mansehra, 10 of 16 from Kurram, nine from Abbottabad and Khyber each, and eight from Charsadda and Buner each,” Dr Asif Ali of the Public Health Reference Lab, Khyber Medical University, told Dawn.
He said Delta variant was widespread in the province.
The expert said the lab received coronavirus samples from 24 of 36 districts and there was a high likelihood of the presence of Delta strain in other districts as well.
Doctors call for vaccination, social distancing to stem spread of virus
Meanwhile, Prof Khalid Mahmood of the Lady Reading Hospital insisted that the more people interacted, the faster the infection spread.
He told Dawn that the people should get vaccinated against the virus as an effective way to prevent infection and death.
The expert said the lax enforcement of anti-coronavirus steps was a reason for the transmission of the virus.
“The proven public health and social measures prevent infection and deaths. Uneven and inequitable vaccine distribution is also a cause,” he said.
Prof Khalid said Delta was a variant of concern as it spread fast.
He said Delta strain was reported in 96 countries and there were fears that its spread would continue.
“There are a number of factors contributing to the increased virus transmission around the world,” he said.
The expert said the people could protect themselves from the virus, including its Delta variant, by ensure their hands are clean and they cover their mouth and nose with masks and clean hands while putting on or taking off masks.
He also urged the people to avoid crowded spaces, observe social distancing, and ensure good ventilation during presence at home or in rooms.
“The opening of a window or two can ensure good airflow,” he said.
Prof Khalid said those measures would reduce the people’s exposure to the virus.
“People should make sure that they get fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to prevent infection and death,” he said.
Meanwhile, the health department said in a report that 18 more died of coronavirus and 570 were infected with it in the province onSaturday.
According to it, seven deaths were reported in Swat district, four in Peshawar, three in Abbottabad and one each in Mardan, Bajaur, Bannu and Tank districts.
Peshawar recorded 11 per cent coronavirus positivity rate with 139 new cases, Mardan 10.4 per cent positivity rate with 50 cases, Swabi 8.9 per cent positivity rate with 19 cases, and Nowshera 7.8 per cent positivity rate with 33 new cases.
The health department said the province’s total Covid-19 deaths and cases since the start of the pandemic early last year had reached 5,087 and 164,732.
It added that 92 per cent of the infected cases in the province, including 445 reported during the 24 hours, had recovered, whereas the active cases totalled 8,239.
Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2021