14 more test positive at Tableeghi Jamaat headquarters

Updated 02 Apr 2020

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People stand on marked lines to maintain safe distance, as the buy a low-priced food from a charity stall, during a lockdown after Pakistan shut all markets, public places and discouraged large gatherings amid an outbreak of the coronavirus in Karachi on April 1. — Reuters
People stand on marked lines to maintain safe distance, as the buy a low-priced food from a charity stall, during a lockdown after Pakistan shut all markets, public places and discouraged large gatherings amid an outbreak of the coronavirus in Karachi on April 1. — Reuters

LAHORE: The number of confirmed coronavirus patients at the Raiwind Tableeghi Markaz rose to 41 on Wednesday, after 14 more preachers tested positive, whereas 15 positive cases were reported in other parts of the provincial capital during the last 24 hours.

According to the daily situation report on coronavirus released by the Punjab health authorities, an elderly virus patient died at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi. The 83-year-old victim had arrived from England recently.

So far total 10 patients have succumbed to the virus in Punjab, including four each in Lahore and Rawalpindi and one each in Faisalabad and Rahim Yar Khan.

Meanwhile, 64 more people were confirmed as Covid-19 patients across the province, taking the total number to 748, including 178 in Lahore.

900 residents of Raiwind quarantined

After Lahore, Gujrat has become a flashpoint for coronavirus as 24 new patients tested positive for the virus in the district during the last 24 hours, taking the tally of confirmed cases surfacing there to 86.

A senior official said the Raiwind Tableeghi Markez was presently housing approximately 600 preachers. The health teams have so far sent samples of around 110 of them for lab analysis, he said, adding the reports later confirmed 41 preachers as Covid-19 patients.

To a question, he said, the health teams, with the support of police, carried out random tests of over 100 residents of Raiwind City which had been locked down on Tuesday to prevent outbreak of the disease. He said their reports were awaited to know the extent of the disease’s impact on the locals.

So far, DG Khan has reported 207 confirmed cases, Multan 91, Rawalpindi 46, Jehlum 28, Gujranwala 12, Gujrat 86, Sargodha seven, while Faisalabad has nine Covid-19 patients.

A spokesperson for the health department said tests of total 16,061 suspected and confirmed patients had been carried out so far in Punjab. The tests were conducted at the National Institute of Health (NIHS) Islamabad, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Lahore, Nishtar Hospital, Multan, Chughati Lab and the health department lab on Jail Road, Lahore.

Meanwhile, the city administration says as many as 900 residents of Raiwind tehsil have been quarantined at various centres for being Covid-19 suspects.

It claims the teams led by Raiwind tehsil officers have started distributing food and ration among the residents affected by complete lockdown in the area.

“As many as 900 people have been sent to quarantine centres. Minimum 10-day ration has also been distributed among 1,000 families in Raiwind where a complete lockdown is being observed strictly,” Lahore DC Danish Afzaal told a press release on Wednesday.

“Cooked food has also been distrubuted among 600 people in Raiwind,” he added.

The DC said the Rawind’s exit and entry points were being monitored strictly, as the mobility of people within or outside the town had completely been restricted through deployment of police and personnel of security agencies.

He urged the people to follow the government instructions regarding the lockdown.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2020