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PM’s polio adviser blames two new reported cases on virus circulation in Pakistan’s sewerage lines


Photo: AFP

Two more cases of polio have been reported in Pakistan – one each from Karachi and district Khyber.

Babar Atta, the prime minister’s focal person for polio eradication, confirmed on Thursday that two more cases had surfaced.

“The number of reported polio cases this year has risen to six – a number that is more than the tally of polio cases reported at this time last year,” Atta told SAMAA TV. “The emergence of these polio cases highlights the fact that the virus is present and spreading.”

Samples collected from sewage in various cities also indicate that polio is present, said the PM’s focal person. He said it is difficult to reduce the number of polio cases if the virus is still present in the country’s sewerage lines.

Related: Traces of polio virus found in seven major cities, including Karachi and Islamabad

He urged parents to get their children under five years vaccinated during every anti-polio campaign.

In documents we are shown that everything is fine, he said. “But the reality of it is quite different.”

The newly surfaced case of polio in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa has driven the number of cases in the province this year up to three, according to the National Emergency Operations Centre.

In Khyber, a one=year-old was diagnosed with polio in the tribal district of Khyberj despite the fact that the infant was reportedly administered polio drops regularly, according to Atta. The child lives in the Landi Kotal tehsil, he said.

Related: With a 99% success rate, anti-polio campaign highlights the dedication of Pakistan’s health workers

He said the three cases detected in Khyber Pakhtunkwa were reported in Khyber, Bajaur and Hangu.

In Karachi, the recently reported case was of a three-year-old girl in Lyari.

Strains of the poliovirus was found in sewerage lines in Karachi’s Union Council- 4, Gadap Town, Sohrab Goth and its adjacent areas like Al-Asif Square, he pointed out.

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