ISLAMABAD   -   Five more polio cases have been confirmed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa taking the toll to 37 this year, officials said on Wednesday.

They said that the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has confirmed these cases.

According to the NEOC report available with The Nation, three out of these five emerged from district Bannu while two from district Torghar.

The report said that the virus has affected three male and two female children in districts of Bannu and Torghar.

In district Bannu, virus has been confirmed in two months old boy from Union Council (UC) SardiKhel, 08 month boy from UC Nurar and 27 months old girl from UC Sintaanga.

Meanwhile, in district Torghar the virus has been confirmed in 46 months old girl and 16 months boy from UC Harnial. District Bannu has remained hot spot for the virus as so far 14 cases have been reported only from this district.

Confirmation in five more polio virus cases has increased the number to 37 in country including 23 from KP province. 03 cases have been reported from Punjab and 03 from Sindh.

After KP, the tribal districts including North Waziristan, Khyber Agency and Bajour Agency of the province have also remain challenging area for authorities from where 08 cases have been reported so far.

Official sources said that previous year only three cases were reported till 2nd of July from across the country, while this year 37 cases have been confirmed from 13 districts.

Officials said that fresh polio case was reported were likely result of parental refusal from vaccinating the child.

Officials also said that the samples of four cases were sent for lab examination at National Institute of Health (NIH) on June 22 previous month while one on 25th of June.

Officials at NIH also said that more cases are in queue and the number of cases will increase during this year.

 NEOC last month had launched a special anti-polio campaign to vaccinate above 10 million children in several districts including the twin cities

The 3-day special anti-polio drive had targeted 10.25 million children up to the age of five years in different regions including Rawalpindi, Bannu, Lahore, Quetta and others.

Statement issued by NEOC had stated that during special campaign, thousands of frontline workers went go door to door to ensure more than 10.25 million children receive two drops of the vaccine to protect them from the poliovirus.

It also said that despite the significant achievements of program, the cunning poliovirus is still surviving and find a way for its survival, therefore special immunization campaign planned in the entire core reservoir to kill the wild polio virus forever.

PM’s Focal Person on Polio Babar Bin Atta had said that Bannu division had been declared highly sensitive after reporting of 50% polio cases of the total polio cases in the country, therefore it is utmost important to vaccinate each child under five years in each anti-polio campaign.

He stated that considering the situation, the Bannu division is the top priority and requested parents to avoid fake propaganda against polio vaccine and vaccinate their children to protect them for polio virus.

Babar Bin Atta also said that the state of poliovirus outbreak in Bannu Division is worrisome.