35.3 C
Houston
Monday, August 3, 2020

Pakistan to resume polio campaign as COVID-19 cases decline

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

ISLAMABAD (AP) – Pakistan announced Tuesday it would resume vaccinations against polio next week, months after the drive against this crippling children’s disease was halted because the novel coronavirus had overwhelmed the country’s health system.

The anti-polio campaign would last three days, from next Monday, with the plan to have about 800,000 children vaccinated, the officials said. Police departments have received requests to ensure the safety of the polio workers.

Rana Mohammad Safdar, who oversees anti-polio operations in the country, said polio workers would adhere to social distancing regulations while carrying out their duty.

The announcement comes after Pakistan’s powerful army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, told Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates last month that despite the challenge of COVID-19, the government planned to restart polio vaccinations across the country. Bajwa gave no date at the time.

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the three countries in the world where polio – a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by the polio virus – is still endemic. The nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has helped Pakistan and other places worldwide fight the disease.

The World Health Organization at a meeting in June reviewed the polio situation in Pakistan and elsewhere and extended travel restrictions, initially enforced in 2014, that require people to get vaccinated against polio a month before traveling to Pakistan.

Pakistan had hoped to eliminate the disease by 2018, when only 12 cases were reported. But there was a surge in new cases the following year. Since January, Pakistan has reported 58 new polio cases from various parts of the country, including the northwestern region bordering Afghanistan.

The Taliban and other militants regularly stage attacks on polio teams and security forces escorting them,a s well as vaccination centers and health workers because they claim the anti-polio drive is part of an alleged Western conspiracy to sterilize children or collect intelligence. The attacks on polio teams increased after it was revealed that a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign was used as a ruse by the CIA in the hunt for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was killed by U.S. commandos in 2011 in Pakistan.

Pakistan has had more than 253,000 cases of the coronavirus, including 5,320 deaths, since the first infection was detected in February.

On Tuesday, it reported 1,979 cases – a substantial decrease in daily infections since May, when the lockdown was eased, causing a surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.



Washingtontimes

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Photos Of Stephen Hawking On Epstein’s ‘Pedo Island’ Subject Of New Court Order

Authored by John Vibes via TheMindUnleashed.com, The document releases that have been taking place in relation to the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell...
- Advertisement -

ESPN’s ‘Le Batard Show’ creates Twitter poll asking if it’s ‘funny’ that Jonathan Isaac — who refused to kneel during national anthem — suffered...

ESPN's "Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz" shared a curious Twitter poll on Monday and almost immediately deleted it. The poll asked if sports fans...

Congressional Democrats, White House Cite Progress in Talks on Coronavirus Bil

The top Democrats in the U.S. Congress and White House negotiators on Monday said they had made progress in talks on a new coronavirus...

COVID-19 aid package talks making progress

House Democrats said they are making progress with White House officials on a deal...

Related news

Georgia’s largest school district reportedly sees surge of employees exposed to COVID-19

Around 260 employees in Georgia’s largest school district have either tested positive for the coronavirus or have been exposed to the contagion, according to...

Michigan morgue workers fired over cake decorated with black penis

Three female employees at a medical examiner’s office in Michigan have been fired — after a worker brought a cake decorated with an image...

Egypt invites Elon Musk to visit after he tweets aliens built pyramids

Egypt has invited billionaire Elon Musk to come and visit its pyramids — after he tweeted a conspiracy theory that aliens built the landmarks. “Aliens...

Trump’s suit to block tax return subpoena should be dismissed: DA

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. filed a motion Monday to dismiss President Trump’s latest lawsuit trying to block the prosecutor from subpoenaing his...
- Advertisement -