ISLAMABAD: Shahzad Town and Rimsha Colony in H-9 were on Thursday sealed after three people, including a teenage girl, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Moreover, Bhara Kahu was completely sealed after the tally of coronavirus patients from the locality reached 17. As many as 13 of the confirmed patients were members of a Tablighi jamaat and four local residents.

Meanwhile, the district administration of Rawalpindi shifted eight people, including four women, from Satellite Town to the quarantine centre set up at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University after it transpired that one of their relatives who tested positive for the virus on Wednesday had visited their house.

“Though the area was not sealed, a street in Satellite Town has been cordoned off. Those shifted to the quarantine centre did not have symptoms of the virus but their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH),” Assistant Commissioner (Headquarters) Mohammad Iqbal Sanghera told Dawn.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat told Dawn that troops from the Army, Rangers and Police had been deployed around Bhara Kahu, Shahzad Town and Rimsha Colony. The three areas are completely sealed and no one is allowed to exit or enter there.

Capital admin also seals Bhara Kahu after tally of Covid-19 patients reached 17 in the area

The DC said a resident of Shahzad Town had tested positive for the virus. He had returned from Lahore after attending a congregation there and later attended the funeral of his mother-in-law.

Besides, a resident of Rimsha Colony and his teenage relative girl also tested positive, he said, adding the man had no travel history outside the capital.

The capital administration issued an advisory for those who met the man from Shahzad Town or attended the funeral of his mother-in-law last week. They should undergo quarantine as a precautionary measure, Mr Shafqaat said. A similar advisory was issued for the residents of Rimsha Colony and Bhara Kahu.

The DC said door-to-door scanning of people in Shahzad Town and Rimsha Colony had been launched. About 10,000 people are residing in Shahzad Town while Rimsha Colony has 8,000 residents.

Bhara Kahu has over 100,000 residents and 50 to 60pc of the area has been scanned so far, the DC said.

Meanwhile, the assistant commissioner in Rawalpindi added that 16 people from Sadiqabad had also been shifted to the quarantine centre after a local resident tested positive for the virus.

He said the district administration was working to screen all people whom the patient had visited in the recent past. He said the patient’s history was shared with the administration so that all his close contacts could be kept in isolation.

The official said the district administration would establish a quarantine centre at 550 flats in Taxila for which the Punjab government had released Rs80 million from the Workers Welfare Fund.

“The facility will be functional in three to four days and would accommodate 1,000 people at a time,” he said.

On the other hand, Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi retired Capt Anwarul Haq said there were 11 patients in the district and one death of a woman had been reported in the division.

He said enough facilities were available in Rawalpindi to treat patients, adding 15 ventilators were available at Benazir Bhutto Hospital and 20 at the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology.

Mr Haq said the district administration had also made circles outside the grocery shops to help people maintain distance while shopping.

SOP for taxi services

The capital administration issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for taxi services.

A notification said all taxi drivers will wear masks and gloves and wash their hands after dropping each passenger. Reuse of masks and gloves are prohibited.

The passengers must wear masks and sit on the backseat. Only two passengers will be allowed on the backseat.

Taxi driver will disinfect the vehicle after dropping passengers with one per cent bleach lotion (one ml bleach in 1000ml water).

116 arrested

As many as 116 people were arrested for violations of a ban imposed on different activities. They are wandering in different areas, plying passenger vehicles, pillion riding and opening shops of non-edible items.

Furthermore, law enforcement agencies deployed at T-Cross Rawat intercepted a truck loaded with a container. During search they found 15 people hiding in it. They were disembarked from the vehicle and one of them, an aged man, was found ill.

The driver of the truck told the police that he was taking the people from a congregation in Lahore to Kohat. They were disallowed to enter the capital and the driver was directed to go back to Chakwal and take a route from there to Kohat.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2020