Measles has claimed the lives of 10 more children in Pakistan’s Punjab province over the past two days, taking the toll in an outbreak of the disease to 148.
Three to five children have been dying of measles every day since the outbreak in the province a month ago.
According to a spokesman of the Health Department, the death toll in Lahore alone is 80.
Since Thursday, three children succumbed to the disease in Lahore, two each in Faisalabad and Hafizabad districts, and one each in Toba Tek Singh, Mandi Bahauddin and Gujranwala.
At least 195 more cases of measles were reported in Punjab, including 19 in Lahore on Friday, the spokesman said.
The failure to launch an immunisation campaign against measles and the failure to purchase the vaccine were said to be the main reasons for the outbreak.
After assuming charge, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif held a meeting on Friday to review the outbreak and approved an action plan to protect children against the disease and called for a vigorous campaign against the disease on a war footing.
“All out steps will be taken on an emergency basis to save children and I will personally review the situation every week while the Chief Secretary will hold a meeting every day,” Mr. Sharif said.
He directed officials to speed up the process of buying vaccines without waiting for support from international donors.