The world is battling polio. What the warning means Covid-19.

Peshawar, Pakistan After decades of work, polio was eradicated almost everywhere in the world. What was left were pockets in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Medical experts had hoped that 2020 would be the last year that the main form of the virus, which could permanently paralyze or cause death, was at risk.

The coronavirus epidemic halted that progress.

In March, Kovid-19 forced home-based vaccination teams in Pakistan to suspend their work. As a result, polio returned, including the mutated form of the virus. It is now found in samples taken from sewers in 74% of Pakistan at the end of 2020, which was only 13% at the beginning of 2018.

“Now the virus is not just in selected pockets. “The risk is everywhere in the country,” said Dr Rana Safdar, in-charge of Pakistan’s polio campaign.

The decades-long fight to eradicate polio worldwide is the most ambitious and costly public health-campaign in history. The mass-vaccination drive and its progress toward arresting a disease that has disabled or killed millions of people will draw attention to the possible success of efforts to inoculate people around the world against Covid-19.