Polio virus found in Lahore, Karachi

KARACHI: On Tuesday, Samples taken from sewage in different sections of Karachi and Lahore – the country’s most populated cities – have tested positive for the polio virus, officials confirmed.

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The Prime Minister’s focal person on polio, Ayesha Raza Farooq, confirmed that an environmental sample from Lahore taken at the Main Outfall pumping station, and two from Karachi.

Sooner on Tuesday, Farooq chaired a meeting of the Prime Minister’s Polio Monitoring and Coordination Cell where the information was shared with stakeholders – including the World Health Organization – in the country’s battle against poliomyelitis.

Nevertheless, Farooq says she was not “ overly concerned about (the environmental sample testing positive in) Lahore being cause there are no reported cases which means a high layer of immunity has grown among the population and then while the virus is still being circulating it is a low grade one.”

Last week, the WHO decided on Monday to impose strict travel restrictions on Pakistan to prevent the Pakistan currently stands at the crown in the last three polio endemic countries in the globe, which also include Nigeria and Afghanistan.

The WHO says the virus strain of polio found in Pakistan has affected as many as five states over the past two years, becoming a serious threat to other nations.

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