Pakistan’s federal authorities have confirmed the presence of the poliovirus in seven cities after samples were collected from various cities in the country. The presence of the poliovirus was confirmed in the samples collected from Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Bannu, Nowshera and Swat.

Lahore and Islamabad were declared polio-free in April 2021.

Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel said in a statement that the government was committed to eradicating polio and had established a strategy to do so.

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“We have been taking steps to control the virus in seven cities that have reported positive environmental samples. I appeal to the parents to make sure that their children are vaccinated during every polio campaign,” said Qadir Patel.

Read more – Shehbaz Sharif, Bill Gates discuss anti-polio campaign

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In order to raise awareness about the virus, the health ministry also solicited collaboration with civil society, religious scholars, academics and the media.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where polio has not yet been eradicated. To formally eradicate the disease, a nation must be polio-free for three consecutive years. Nigeria was declared free from wild polio in August 2020.