Islamabad: Samples taken from sewage from different parts of Karachi and Lahore, the country’s most populated cities, have tested positive for the polio virus, officials said Tuesday.
Ayesha Raza Farooq, national polio co-ordinator, confirmed that environmental samples from Lahore and Karachi have tested positive for the virus, Dawn online reported.
The samples were taken in April.
Farooq said she was not “too concerned about the environmental sample testing positive in Lahore because there are no reported cases which means a high level of immunity has developed among the population so while the virus is still circulating it is a low grade one”.
“Yes, environmental samples show that the virus was still circulating in Lahore. We know of Karachi as there are already five positive cases reported from the city this year,” Nima Saeed Abid, WHO representative and acting in-charge of the health organisation in Pakistan, was quoted as saying.
However, Abid claimed that WHO has not released any report based on the sewage samples from Lahore and Karachi.
WHO last week decided to impose strict travel restrictions on Pakistan to prevent the possible spread of the polio virus to other countries.
Pakistan was declared by the WHO among the most polio-prone countries along with Nigeria and Afghanistan.