Polio virus re-emerges in Karachi


KARACHI: The presence of the wild polio virus has been detected from samples taken from all major areas of Karachi, official data revealed on Saturday, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the eradication program in Pakistan was no longer on-track.

The latest environmental survey carried out by the Emergency Operation Cell team shows the presence of the wild polio virus (WPV1) in 11 different parts of Karachi. Areas which are heavily affected include Gadap, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Landhi, Saddar, Korangi, Orangi Town, SITE and Liaqatabad.

According to the survey, the samples were collected between April and May this year from six locations of Gadap, four locations of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, and two locations each of Saddar, Landhi, and Orangi Town—areas known to be the hub of the WPV1.

This was the first time that the presence of the wild polio virus has been detected from samples at such a large scale in the country’s most populous city.

According to a spokesperson of the EOC team, so far two polio cases have been confirmed from Karachi. The total polio cases in Pakistan in 2019 so far are 21.

The Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication, Babar Bin Ata, said a massive campaign will start after Eid and that they will ensure not to miss any children in the vaccination drive. He urged parents to vaccinate their children in every anti-polio campaign so polio can be eradicated from Pakistan to save the future of its children.