The year 2019 is the worst since 2015 in the matter of polio cases. So far 80 victims have been reported from all the provinces of the country, as the data available on endpolio.com reveal. But the new official revelation is that at least seven cases were because of the resurrection of an extinct poliovirus. Officials maintain that there was some vial left in some laboratory or somewhere else and started spreading due to human error. The recent admission of the officials regarding the resurrection of type 2 virus and the overall surge in polio cases demonstrates the failure of the polio eradication program. This means that all the gains that the state had made against polio in the past are reversing one by one.

Polio elimination in Pakistan will remain a distant dream in the future as long as the eradication program remains in its current form. According to polioeradication.org, “Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world with on-going wild poliovirus transmission, alongside Afghanistan and Nigeria.” The rate with which polio is returning in the country is alarming. Given the fact that none of the four provinces is protected from the virus necessitates that the government impose polio-emergency. It is high time that the federal, as well as all provincial governments, join their heads together to stop the disease’s further spread and a resurgence of the extinct poliovirus.

The country’s eradication program against polio has remained unchanged since the day it was first launched. Apart from the turmoil of terrorist attacks and natural disasters affecting the efficiency of the plan, the drive against polio is also suffering from some serious internal issues. The program’s activities, unfortunately, are proving less than satisfactory even in curtailing the spread of the disease. With the return of type 2 virus, the government needs to think about revamping the whole polio eradication program seriously.