ISLAMABAD - The National Emergency and Opera­tions Center (NEOC) will run four an­ti-polio drives in last four months the current year to reduce the immunity gap created due to COVID-19 situation, The Nation learnt on Wednesday. Coordina­tor NEOC Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar informed The Nation that four anti-polio drives would be held in last four months of 2020 to cover the immunity gap creat­ed in the country due to COVID-19. 

According to NEOC data, number of wild polio cases in 2020 has surged to 67 while cVDPV2 cases have reached to 52 so far. 

Coordinator NEOC said a large scale nation-wide campaign to immunize over 40 million children would be kicked-off on September 21. In Octo­ber a sub-national campaign would be launched in around 130 districts. 

Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar said that back-to-back campaigns would be launched in the months of November and December to cover the immunity gap at possible level during current year. 

He said that four years immunity gap created due to COVID-19 made a chal­lenging situation, however the NEOC had worked hard in previous two months. 

He said a sub-national campaign was launched in August in around 130 dis­tricts following all Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) due to the pandemic.