Objective: With the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan, Balochistan province with its unique problems of lowest literacy rates in the country, limited resources and a flail health care system is reporting an increasing number of cases of COVID-19. This study discusses the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients from the Balochistan province.
Study design: Situation report Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in Balochistan province of Pakistan. The completion date for the study was April 30, 2020.
Methodology: The data was retrieved from the daily situation report from the Health Department, Government of Balochistan. Descriptive statistics (proportions, mean ± SD) were used for data analysis.
Results: A total of 1136 patients were confirmed to have COVID-19. The highest rate was found in cases with ages >60 years. About 78% of COVID-19 cases were males and majority of the cases (78.56%)were asymptomatic. Out of these, 183 recovered and 16 died. The case fatality rate was 1.3%.
Conclusion: COVID-19 cases and case fatality ratio is low in Balochistan. Whether this is due to inability to carry out more tests is still to be ascertained. Males and elderly are more affected and fatalities were higher in cases with co-morbid conditions. Balochistan having a weak healthcare system and with the majority of cases being asymptomatic, needs more stringent actions to practice social distancing to avoid further spread of COVID-19.
Publication ( Name of Journal)
Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP
Badini, A. M.,
Mengal, N. M.,
(2021). Characteristics of patients presenting with COVID-19 from Balochistan province and lessons learnt. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP, 31(7), 104-108.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_fam_med/252