Workers prepare safety kits for doctors and paramedics at a factory in Rawalpindi. — APP
Workers prepare safety kits for doctors and paramedics at a factory in Rawalpindi. — APP

ISLAMABAD: The capital administration on Wednesday unsealed a residential area in the capital after all its residents were cleared by screenings and tests carried out in connection with Covid-19.

As of 7pm, no confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in Islamabad on Wednesday.

A notification issued by the office of the deputy commissioner said that District Health Office has cleared Rimsha Colony in H-9 after a detailed survey, contact tracing, ground surveillance and testing of suspected patients. The area has therefore been unsealed with immediate effect.

The notification said the area will be regulated by prevailing orders under CRPC section 144 on March 23, with amendments from time to time.

Screenings are ongoing in Shahzad Town and Bhara Kahu, DC says

Three residential areas in the capital - Bhara Kahu, Shahzad Town and Rimsha Colony - were sealed on orders from the capital administration after residents tested positive for Covid-19. Rimsha Colony was sealed on March 26.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat told Dawn that a man and his teenage relative, who live in the locality, tested positive and the area was sealed as a result in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Health departments traced their immediate contacts, screened and tested them, and found that they were all negative, he said.

Door-to-door screenings were carried out of the locality’s 8,000 residents, he said. No one showed symptoms of Covid-19, and everyone who was tested was negative.

The two residents who had contracted the disease have now recovered and their new tests came back negative, he said. However, they remain under doctors’ observation and will be tested a few more times before being discharged from the hospital.

Mr Shafqaat said that as a result, the Rimsha Colony has been unsealed.

Screenings are ongoing in Shahzad Town and Bhara Kahu, he said. The immediate contacts of people who tested positive in those areas are being traced for testing as well.

Shahzad Town, which has a population of more than 10,000 people, was sealed on March 26 after a man living there tested positive for Covid-19. Kot Hatyal in Bhara Kahu was sealed on March 22 after a group from the Tableeghi Jamaat visiting the area tested positive. Two mosques were also sealed, and the administration later sealed all of Bhara Kahu, which has a population of more than 100,000.

Rations distributed in Rimsha Colony

Supervised by the district administration, the PTI distributed around 500 bags of rations among residents of Rimsha Colony.

PTI Islamabad President Farid Rehman was accompanied by the police and all the necessary safety measures were taken during the activity. Mr Rehman said that they were trying to provide all the help possible to the daily-wage class.

He said rations were being distributed among residents of other affected areas with assistance from philanthropists following directives from Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Deputy Commissioner Mr Shafqaat also visited a rations distribution centre set up by the Al Khidmat Foundation, where he said there are 33,000 families in the capital considered underprivileged. He said that more than 300,000 people deserve charity, and praised the foundation for helping people and for establishing isolation wards in its hospitals.

Jamaat-i-Islami Naib Emir Mian Mohammad Aslam said that the foundation was identifying underprivileged individuals and providing them rations at their doorsteps.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2020