WHO extends travel restrictions for Pakistan and the reason is poliovirus

Pakistan poliovirus

IHR Emergency Committee and WHO in its 25th meeting decided to extend the travel restrictions for Pakistan due to poliovirus. The travel ban will be imposed until 3rd October.

All those who are traveling from Pakistan to abroad will now have to be vaccinated for polio. The data revealed by WHO is very alarming as there are areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa which are affected by poliovirus and the spread of the virus has been observed in Karachi and Quetta also.

Due to a sudden increase in poliovirus, Emergency Operation Centre for Polio in Sindh is scheduling to start the vaccination process in the major areas of Karachi and specifically for children whose age is less than five years old.

All those health care staff will follow the set guidelines of COVID-19 and wear protective equipment such as masks, gloves as coronavirus pandemic is still out there and the equipment will help to safeguard the health workers from the virus.

Pakistan controlling Coronavirus and Poliovirus at the same time

The polio campaign was started back in March but needed to be suspended due to coronavirus pandemic. Though, Pakistan is now resuming polio eradicating campaign after the reported decline in the coronavirus spread.

Recently COAS General Bajwa and billionaire Bill Gates had a telephone conversation and discussed the polio eradication drive in Pakistan.

The coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Center at Health Minister’s Polio Eradicating Program states that “at the moment the focus is on such areas where poliovirus transmission is continuous in order to guard toddlers against the polio disease”.

Only in 2020, 58 polio cases have been detected and now the government is planning to immunize 800,000 children from different cities such as Karachi, Attock, Faisalabad, South Waziristan, and Quetta.

Poliovirus is also transmittable just like coronavirus. The Poliovirus mostly affects toddlers under the age of five. Poliovirus attacks the nervous system which may lead to paralysis or sometimes death.

At the moment Pakistan is among the only three countries that are suffering from the poliovirus, the other countries are Afghanistan and Nigeria.

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