PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday reported 1,446 coronavirus cases, the highest number of infections recorded in a single day since onset of the pandemic in the province, as Public Health Reference Laboratory at Khyber Medical University began collecting samples from suspected patients in an effort to escalate testing.
The province had reported 1,265 cases of Covid-19, the highest number of infections in a single day, on April 23 last year. Covid-19 positivity rate was recorded 49 per cent in Kohat, 43pc in Khyber, 36pc in Peshawar, 33 pc in Malakand, 15pc in Abbottabad and 12 pc in Bannu.
A report of health department said that the tally of cases in the province was 187,983 including 368 persons infected by Omicron variant of the virus. Of the affected people, 176,121 (98 per cent) patients including 78 recorded during the last 24 hours have recovered from the infectious ailment.
The report said that the province reported 15 more Omicron cases.
PCR centre inaugurated at KMU to enhance testing
The number of deaths due to the pandemic rose to 5,986 as five more breathed their last in Peshawar and one in Dera Ismail Khan while the number of active cases was 5, 876, rising constantly over the past one week, it said.
Peshawar reported 726 new cases, Mardan 220, Nowshera 113, Kohat 104, Mansehra 69, Abbottabad 66, Swabi 34, Bannu 33 and Dera Ismail Khan recorded 22 new cases. Officials said that most of the confirmed cases were unvaccinated.
A report of World Health Organisation said that there were 253 hospitalised patients of coronavirus in the province with 12 of them critical and on ventilator and 4,261 in quarantine. Bed occupancy increased from 5.7 per cent a week before to 8.6 per cent, it said.
The first dose of Covid-19 vaccine has been administered to 14.55 million people in the province while 10.3 million people have been given the second the second.
Meanwhile, a press release said that Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif inaugurated Covid-19 PCR Centre at KMU.
He appreciated the varsity’s role in diagnostic as well as prevention of the pandemic and extended government’s support to the scientists, who put their lives at risk but continued to help people.
“Sudden spike in the positivity rate of the virus has posed challenge to us. We are taking all steps to cope with it effectively. KMU’s services regarding tests and vaccination are plausible,” he said.
Mr Saif said that launching testing for suspected people on the campus would lessen burden on PCR laboratories in hospitals.
On the occasion, the director of the laboratory, Dr Yasar Yousafzai said that they conducted 1.12 million Covid-19 tests in addition to establishing 20 laboratories, including 13 public and seven private, at district level to ensure rapid diagnosis.
KMU Vice-chancellor Prof Ziaul Haq recalled that they started from 40 Covid-19 PCRs per day when the virus hit the province in early 2020 which now reached about 6,000. KMU, which had been receiving swabs from 23 districts, would now be collecting samples to be tested by highly-trained staff, he added.
The director of Institute of Pathology and Diagnostic Medicine, Dr Asif Ali, said that the university in collaboration with health department was working to provide prompt services to people and ascertain clear view of the virus to chalk out strategies accordingly.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2022