ISLAMABAD: After remaining a polio-free country for almost 15 months, Pakistan has reported a second case in less than 10 days.

The new cases have crated panic among the officials concerned as the virus can travel along with people because of massive movement during Eid holidays.

The new victim, paralysed by the wild poliovirus, is a two-year-old girl from North Waziristan, says Pakistan National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad.

Earlier on April 22, a 15-month-old boy was confirmed to be a victim of poliovirus. Both children belong to Mir Ali Council of North Waziristan.

The wild poliovirus (WPV1) cases are genetically linked and belong to the same virus cluster, further validating the Pakistan Polio Programme’s concerns for southern parts of KP, where continuous virus circulation has been detected.

A team has been already sent to the area to administer oral and injectable polio vaccines to children to boost their immunity level.

“The National and Provincial Polio Emergency Operations Centres are conducting an emergency vaccination campaign after confirmation of the case last week. I strongly urge everyone travelling for Eid holidays to get their children vaccinated if they are travelling from one area to another,” said health secretary Aamir Ashraf Khawaja.

“This is deeply sad for all of us associated with the polio programme, but we are resilient and unwilling to fail. While we will do whatever it takes to ensure that this little girl is the last child with wild polio, we fear that more children from the same area may be affected as the virus circulates,” said National Emerg­ency Operations Centre coordinator Shahzad Baig.

The polio programme’s health workers continue to reach children in North Waziristan despite challenging circumstances in hard-to-reach areas.

Published in Dawn, April 30th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Noon leaks
Updated 27 Sep, 2022

Noon leaks

PMO audio leaks are a national security emergency that ought to be investigated at the highest level.
Cipher probe offer
27 Sep, 2022

Cipher probe offer

CONSIDERING the toxic political polarisation in the country, former prime minister Imran Khan’s suggestion that ...
Delaying Doha plans
27 Sep, 2022

Delaying Doha plans

WHEN Doha announced its intention to spend $3bn in different commercial and investment sectors of Pakistan around a...
Debt deferment
Updated 26 Sep, 2022

Debt deferment

Pakistan’s dollar funding needs for next 5 years have never been so large and world’s appetite to hold its hands never so poor.
Dengue concerns
26 Sep, 2022

Dengue concerns

AS weather conditions change in Pakistan, the threat of dengue looms large over the land. According to a warning...
Relic of colonialism
26 Sep, 2022

Relic of colonialism

THE law on sedition, one of several holdovers of colonial times, is among the most handy instruments for controlling...