ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI: Two new polio cases emerged in Khyber tribal district and Karachi on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to six in the ongoing year.
While a 12-month-old toddler from Landi Kotal contracted the virus, the victim from Karachi is a three-year-old minor.
According to Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar Atta, the cases are symptoms of an underlying problem: heavy virus circulation in sewage and the environment. “On PowerPoint everything is a GREEN [but] on Ground a big Fat RED,” he tweeted.
2 more Polio cases have been detected today from Khyber Tribal District & Karachi. Total during the current year reach 06. Cases is a symptom of the underlying problem. (Heavy Virus circulation in Sewage/Environment). On PowerPoint everything is a GREEN & on Ground a big Fat RED.— Babar Atta (@babarbinatta) March 21, 2019
A separate statement issued by the Sindh government gave details on the case from Karachi. “It is with great regret that we announce the first polio case of Sindh in 2019 as a 36-month-old female child has tested positive for the virus in UC 9 Lyari Town,’ the communiqué read.
The statement quoted provincial DG Health Masood Solangi claiming that the child had received oral polio vaccine multiple times; however, she had a history of illness, suffered from malnourishment and was low on immunity; hence developed weakness in her limbs.
“However the child will not suffer from paralysis as she was vaccinated with OPV on multiple occasions and has fully recovered,” he was quoted as saying.
Coordinator Emergency Operation Center of the Polio Eradication Initiative Umer Farooq Bullo said “the Sindh government will respond strongly and a campaign is planned in the city from March 25”.
He urged parents to take responsibility and comply with recommendations given by health experts and cooperate with polio teams.
A total 12 poliovirus cases were reported from the country in 2018.