Pak reports new polio case as anti-polio campaign impacted by COVID-19

The case was detected in Balochistan

Islamabad: Pakistan has reported yet another polio case on Sunday, taking the country’s tally of the year to 82.

The case was detected in Balochistan, which this year has reported over 24 cases of the disabling and life-threatening disease that is caused by the poliovirus, Dawn reported.

Last year, 147 cases were reported in the country against only 12 cases in 2018.

An official of the National Institute of Health said that the latest victim was a 10-month-old girl.

“She is a resident of District Quetta, Tehsil Chilton Town, and Union Council Kharootabad-II. Her left lower limb has been paralysed and the socioeconomic status of the family has been declared poor. It was a pure case of refusal as the family was against vaccination”

he said.

The case comes at a time when the country is reeling under the second wave of coronavirus.

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Pakistan had recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus on February 26. As the caseload increase, door-to-door polio immunisation campaigns were suspended in March, only to resume on a smaller scale in July.

Thousands of health care workers of Pakistan anti-polio campaign, who were also mobilised to fight the coronavirus, have lost their jobs since June due to the restructuring and funding cuts of the anti-polio program due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio cases are being reported. Pakistan remains under a polio-linked travel restriction imposed by the World Health Organisation due to which, since 2014, every person travelling abroad has to carry a polio vaccination certificate.

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