LAHORE: With 155 new cases of Covid-19 from across the province, including 113 preachers of the Tableeghi Jamaat at Raiwind, the total number of infected people in Punjab ballooned to 1,069 on Friday.

A total of 251 preachers of the Tableeghi Jamaat have so far tested positive for Covid-19 in Lahore.

Meanwhile, three prisoners also tested positive for the coronavirus at the Camp Jail here.

From other parts of the city, 17 more cases of confirmed patients were reported during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in the city, excluding Raiwind, to 210.

According to the officially released daily situation report on Friday, 155 new patients of coronavirus were reported from across Punjab.

Three Camp Jail prisoners also contract virus

Gujrat, which has been reporting multiple cases of infected people in the last few days, recorded six patients on Friday, taking the total cases to 95 in the district.

According to the city-wise break-up, the number of confirmed patients reached 210 in Lahore (excluding Tableeghi Jamaat members), 55 in Rawalpindi, 29 in Jehlum, 13 in Nankana Sahib, 10 in Sargodha, 19 Vehari, nine Faisalabad and five Rahim Yar Khan.

About the pilgrims who returned from Iran, there were 213 patients quarantined in Dera Ghazi Khan and 91 in Multan.

Meanwhile, Lahore police intensified security in the city by closing roads leading to several localities after a certain time, including Model Town, Gulberg, Johar Town, some parts of Defence, Iqbal Town and the Walled City.

Multiple complaints were received from various parts of the city when police closed off localities without prior information, adding to the woes of their residents.

Police claimed that youngsters, who were violating the government’s instructions to stay home during the lockdown, had provoked them to take strict security measures. Some youngsters also complained that police accorded them summary punishments on the roads and inside their localities.

Security personnel were also alleged to have stopped some cars, forced the occupants to get out and lashed them with sticks on the pretext of violations.

Recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken notice of complaints of harsh and insulting behaviour of the authorities and directed them to ensure that respect and dignity of the citizens were not violated.

He had also directed the authorities to take action under law instead of beating them publicly.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2020