Gilgit - As many as 226 people including men, women and children have been operated upon for appendicitis in the last three weeks in the city, Dr Iqbal, a surgeon at the City Hospital, Gilgit said on Wednesday.

Dr Iqbal said an outbreak of appendicitis has been witnessed in Gilgit city where hundreds of appendicitis patients are under treatment in hospitals and at least 19 to 20 people are operated upon every day in the City Hospital. He said it was very difficult to deal with the situation, however; samples had been sent to heath department of Gilgit-Baltistan for examination to determine the cause of the outbreak.

Dr Sartaj, Duty Medical Superintendant (DMS) at District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Gilgit told The Nation that at least 329 people had been operated upon for appendicitis in the hospital in last three weeks. He added that Shamogad valley of Gilgit was most affected by the outbreak of appendicitis and other valleys of Gilgit including Domial, Diniyor and Konodas were also affected severely.

According to officials, doctors carried out several appendicitis surgeries at the Combine Military Hospital, Family Health Centre, Agha Khan Health Services and Ali medical Centre in Gilgit.

Shabbir Ahmad, a residence of Shamogad Colony told The Nation that his wife and three children went through appendicitis surgeries last week in City Hospital while his 16 other relatives were also operated upon while 8 more were under treatment in the hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Khunjerab Pass on Pakistan-China border was opened for all kinds of traffic on Wednesday after four months. The border was closed due to heavy snowfall at Khunjerab top, which had made transportation impossible in the area.

Zahid, an official of Pakistani immigration at Sost, told The Nation that the two countries had earlier this year agreed to open the border on April 5.

“A bus carrying passengers from China reached Pakistan Customs House located in the border town of Sost on Wednesday and three vehicles left for China from the border town carrying passengers” he added.