Screening at airport, Torkham stepped up

‘The variant spreading with overseas travellers’


Our Correspondent January 15, 2022
Torkham border. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR:

Due to the increasing number of Omicron cases in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) the provincial Health Department has doubled the number of its staff deployed at the Torkham crossing and Bacha Khan International Airport and an isolation ward has been reactivated at Landi Kotal hospital.

Talking to The Express Tribune an official of the Director Public Health Naik Dad Afridi said that the Covid-19 positivity ratio in Peshawar has been recorded at three per cent and the total number of Omicron cases has jumped to 64.

“The Omicron variant reached Pakistan with overseas travelers and due to this the number of health staff deployed at Peshawar Airport and Torkham crossing has been doubled,” he said, adding that an isolation ward had been reactivated at Landi Kotal for those people crossing into Pakistan from Afghanistan.

“The screening and vaccination of people coming from Afghanistan has been in full swing and only those people are allowed into Pakistan who are vaccinated,” he said.

Afridi added that a single shot vaccine is administered to all those coming from Afghanistan and those people whose Covid test is positive are not allowed to enter Pakistan.

He said that the National Control and Operation Center (NCOC) has relaxed the quarantine conditions for overseas travelers and they are now allowed to isolate at their homes.

“The other day 12 new cases of Omicron were detected in the province of which six were reported from Peshawar and two cases from Mardan, and one each from Khyber, Malakand, Nowshera and Haripur districts” he added, saying that out of the 12 patients five were men and seven were women.

This has pushed up the total number of patients in the province to 64 majority of which are from Peshawar district.

“The spread of Omicron variant is fast as compared to the other variants but the death ratio is very limited,” he said.

“Omicron spread needs to be maintained and that is why the health department is focusing especially on vaccination,” he added.

It is worth mentioning here that Peshawar district is the fourth most affected district across the country from Covid-19 taking into account the positivity ratio.

National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has identified in its report 14 districts of the country with highest positivity ratio. In K-P Abbotabad and Swat are high risk districts too.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2022.

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