KHAR: Though no case of coronavirus has been reported in Bajaur tribal district yet, the administration here the other day feared that the residents could be infected with the disease in light of its growing incidence across the country.

It urged religious leaders and traders to play due role in checking the spread of coronavirus in the region.

The call was given by deputy commissioner Usman Mehsud during a meeting, which was attended by religious and trader leaders.

Senior officials of the administration, health department and Rescue 1122 also attended the meeting.

The officials said no case of coronavirus had been reported in Bajaur tribal district but the disease could spread anytime as the number of cases was fast increasing in other parts of the country. They called for preventive measures against the virus.

The officials said the administration and health department had made all necessary arrangements against coronavirus after the surfacing of new cases in the province.

The DC said the administration won’t be able to protect the residents from coronavirus without their support.

“It’s the responsibility of all residents, especially religious leaders and traders, to play due role in preventing the spread of the disease,” he said.

Mr Mehsud resented the opening of some shops and trade centres in the district despite ban and warned that strict action would be taken against violators of the administration’s instructions. The DC later told reporters that religious leaders and traders had promised to extend complete support and cooperation to the administration to fight virus.

Meanwhile, most markets in Bajaur tribal district remained closed. The residents said only pharmacies and milk, grocery and vegetable shops remained open.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2020