Peshawar records most Covid, dengue cases in KP

Published October 24, 2021
This file photo shows a relative assisting a dengue fever patient at a hospital in Mingora, the capital of Swat Valley. — AFP
This file photo shows a relative assisting a dengue fever patient at a hospital in Mingora, the capital of Swat Valley. — AFP

PESHAWAR: There is no let-up in the spread of coronavirus and dengue in Peshawar despite their declining incidence in other high-risk districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Five people lost life to Covid-19 and 91 were infected with it in the province on Saturday. Of them, four deaths and 49 cases were reported in the provincial capital.

Similarly, the province recorded 156 dengue cases in the day and most of them i.e. 33 belonged to Peshawar.

According to the health department officials, the fifth coronavirus death was reported in Swat district.

They told Dawn that after the outbreak of Covid-19 in the province early last year, Peshawar emerged as the ‘epicentre’ of the virus and recorded most of the cases in the province.

Doctor insists patients prefer capital city as it has major hospitals, testing centres

The officials said 64,384 of the province’s 177,440 recorded Covid-19 patients were Peshawaris.

They said the district also witnessed most deaths from the virus in the province.

According to them, 5,713 people have so far died of the virus in the province and 2,734 of them belonged to Peshawar.

The officials said currently, the province had 2,676 active Covid-19 patients and 627 of them were Peshawaris. Also, the district has most recoveries from the virus in the province i.e. 61,023.

The doctors attribute high Covid-19 deaths and cases in Peshawar to the presence of main hospitals and testing centres.

A senior physician of the Khyber Teaching Hospital told Dawn that 40 per cent of the coronavirus patients admitted to Peshawar hospitals were not locals.

He claimed that the people from other districts preferred treatment in Peshawar.

The physician said the province’s all major public and private hospitals were located in Peshawar, which offered free treatment to the patients registered for the Sehat Sahulat Programme, a free healthcare initiative of the provincial government.

He also said the provincial capital had most of the 17 Covid-19 testing labs operating in the province and that they carried out 70 per cent of the province’s total tests.

“It is wrong to presume that Peshawar is the hotbed of coronavirus as the people from across the province sought investigation and treatment here,” he said.

Meanwhile, the directorate-general (health services) said dengue fever, which broke out in the province in March this year, had affected Peshawar residents the most.

According to a report compiled by the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System of the directorate, the province has so far recorded 5,007 cases of dengue fever and 1,772 were from Peshawar.

It, however, said none of the patient had died of vector-borne ailment in Peshawar.

The report said the provincial capital had recorded 60 of the 70 deaths from dengue in 2017.

It said since March this year, six people had lost life to dengue in the province and two of them belonged to Khyber tribal district and one each to Haripur, Nowshera, Mansehra and Swabi districts.

According to it, Nowshera has recorded 429 cases, Haripur 366, Mardan 346, Mansehra 339, Swabi 298, Buner 268 and Khyber 230.

A dozen villages of Peshawar are contributing most cases to the province’s tally.

The report said a total 29,800 dengue suspects had so far been tested and 8,435 of them were from Peshawar.

It added that currently, 287 dengue patients were under treatment in hospitals and 117 of them were admitted to Peshawar’s hospitals.

The report said 3,280 patients had recovered from the fever in the province and 1,119 of them were reported in Peshawar.

The health officials said after the advent of the winter season, the number of both dengue and Covid-19 cases would decrease.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2021

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