WHO extends travel restrictions to Pakistan due to polio endemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has extended travel restrictions on Pakistan for another three months because it is the last polio-endemic country, along with Afghanistan, according to reports.

In a recent statement by the Thirtieth Polio IHR Emergency Committee, the WHO classified Pakistan and Afghanistan as risky nations, indicating that the two countries have failed to entirely eradicate polio and may be responsible for the virus's global spread, according to the report.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has achieved remarkable progress against polio, with the number of cases of Wild Polio Virus (WPV1) falling to zero in the last ten months, down from 84 in 2020. Pakistan's main issue, according to the Committee, is dealing with "persistently missed youngsters" in core reservoirs, as well as parental refusals and troubling polio vaccination programmes in sensitive areas. The committee did remark, however, that the viral presence in Pakistan's sewerage systems has decreased, which has contributed in the control of the virus.

According to the WHO, the primary source of Wild Polio Virus is Afghanistan, which reaches Pakistan via refugee movement. Pakistan is in grave danger as a result of this.

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