PESHAWAR: Nine more died of Covid-19 and 187 new patients were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as positivity level for the virus dropped below five per cent in all high-risk districts, except Peshawar where the infectivity rate was recorded 5.1 per cent.
A report compiled by health department put the number of total mortalities from the virus 5,507 and number of cases 173,210 since the onset of the pandemic early last year.
Of the affected people, 162,528 patients (93 per cent) including 305 recorded during the last 24 hours recovered for the infectious ailment, it said. A total of 10,905 suspected people were tested in the province.
The province has 5,175 active coronavirus patients, mostly in Peshawar, Mardan, Swat, Kohat, Nowshera, Swabi, Chitral Lower, Mansehra and Bannu.
Peshawar continues to stay as hub of pandemic
Peshawar continues to stay as the main hub of the pandemic as it has recorded six new casualties, making its overall tally of deaths 2,612, almost half of the total people fallen to the infection in the province so far.
The provincial metropolis also diagnosed 54 more confirmed patients, taking its total score of the infected people to 62,392. The city is also home to 70 per cent of the hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
Swat lost two persons to the virus and Mardan one. Both the districts are also among the hotspots areas, continuously detecting cases and deaths. Mardan recorded 34 new patients where positivity further dipped to 2.8 per cent. Bed occupancy in the district was registered 34 per cent.
The slow paced vaccination in Mardan and Swat continues to haunt authorities and health department wants more Covid-19 restrictions to force the people for inoculation. Swat, where positivity for the virus dropped to two per cent, diagnosed eight more infections. Occupancy of beds in Swat remained 27 per cent.
Only nine patients were diagnosed positive for the virus in Swabi where positivity was reported two per cent but bed occupancy in the district was 50 per cent, the highest in any district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to a report of World Health Organisation, 1,141 people have been admitted to different hospitals in the province including 46 serious ones, who are on ventilators.
Meanwhile, Public Health Reference Laboratory, Khyber Medical University found 379 Delta virus cases in August and September. The scientists believed that majority of the positive cases were of the same strain but they tested selected positive samples for re-testing. With the installation of Genome Sequencing Facility, the varsity has started testing more samples for detection of other strains too along with Delta.
Health officials said that mortalities and infections were receding in the province but the hotspot districts were yet to show any sign of improvement regarding recovery from the virus.
They said that Peshawar was big threat as it was reporting more cases and fatalities and was likely to act as transmitter of the virus for the rest of the districts. There should be restrictions on transporters to allow only 50 per cent passengers, they added.
Officials said that vaccination and adherence to standard operating procedures were the only means to prevent and control spread of the virus. “In the coming days, we would recommend to National Command and Operation Centre, more restrictions in Peshawar, if the situation continues because there is no other way to contain the speed of the virus,” they added.
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2021