LAHORE - Two new polio cases have been reported in Punjab, confirmed the official in-charge of the province’s polio programme on Tuesday.

With two more kids falling victim to the crippling virus, the number of confirmed cases in Punjab this year reached eight. In 2020, 67 polio cases have been reported from across Pakistan, majority of these from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  The crippling virus had affected all four limbs of an eight month old child belonging to a poor family in Dera Ghazi Khan district. The ill fated child had already lost his life, the fourth causality of a polio patient this year. 

Polio has also affected the right lower limb of 13 years old child hailing from Bahawalpur district.  Polio affecting a teenager has again sparked debate as the disease is usually attributed to kids up to five years of age.  “It is not the first case. Recently, polio has affected a 14 years old child. But still the happening is quite unusual. Malnutrition and co-morbidities might have caused polio to attack these children”, said Dr Abdul Rauf, a family physician running his clinic in Usman Gunj, congested locality in Northern Lahore. 

Families of both the children were living in poor socio economic conditions, said Sundas Irshad, in-charge Punjab polio programme. 

“We have conducted good campaigns in December and January. Virus transmission continued due to gap in polio eradication campaigns”, she said.

“Now the campaigns have been resumed and the next one, a national drive, will be held on September 21”, she said, adding, the campaign would help breaking the transmission of the virus.