RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: There will be no relaxation in the lockdown in Rawalpindi from Saturday (today) as the district administration asked traders to keep shops and markets closed till further orders as 211 more patients tested positive for Covid-19 in the district on Friday.
As the number of patients continued rising, the district administration also declared Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) as the coronavirus care centre and closed all its outpatient departments (OPDs).
Earlier, confirmed patients were being treated at the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) and critical patients were shifted to the BBH. Out of the highest ever 211 people new positive patients, 111 were from the Rawalpindi district.
Moreover, three patients died of the disease and only one was discharged from a hospital after recovery.
The health authority officials said most of the new patients were local transmissions. But a senior official of the district administration said people coming from abroad had spread the virus in many areas.
District admin asks traders to keep markets closed after highest single-day spike of Covid-19 cases
A 70-year-old resident of Madni Mohallah in Dhoke Dalal was brought to the BBH on April 29 where he died on Friday.
Another 50-year-old man from Chur Chowk Peshawar Road was admitted to the BBH on May 5 where he also died.
The third casualty was a 64-year-old resident of Khayaban-i-Sir Syed who was admitted to Holy Family Hospital (HFH).
The number of confirmed patients in Rawalpindi reached 920 while 44 people died and 231 patients were discharged after recovery. At present, 665 confirmed patients are under treatment and 171 patients are quarantined in their houses.
Besides, 300 suspected patients were also brought to the three hospitals and their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the BBH laboratory and the results are awaited.
The local administrations also keep 1,490 people on quarantine who had been in close contacts with the confirmed patients, including 1,280 people isolated in their houses.
As many as seven nurses of a hostel at the BBH have been isolated with symptoms of the coronavirus and their samples dispatched to the NIH.
Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood told Dawn that the Punjab government had not issued any instruction to ease the lockdown.
He said the numbers of patients of Covid-19 and deaths were increasing and there was a need to allocate the BBH for the coronavirus patients.
“We have also demanded Rs250 million from the government to provide better health services to the confirmed patients,” he said.
The tally of the confirmed cases in Islamabad reached 558 from 521 as 37 more people tested positive.
Besides, suspected cases also increased from 2,037 to 2,099.
Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat said the capital had 482 active cases while 72 patients recovered. Besides, four people died of the virus.
The 37 new cases were reported from 20 localities of the capital - 11 urban and nine rural areas.
Six cases were reported from Tarlai, four from G-6, three each from I-8 and Sohan, two each from E-7, G-8, Loi Bher and Shahzad Town and one each from E-11, F-7, G-10, G-7, H-13, I-10, I-9, Alipur, Jangi Syedan, Khanna, Rawat and Tarnol, Mr Shafqaat added.
I-10 has most of the confirmed cases followed by 44 in Tarlai, 39 in Bhara Kahu, 34 in Loi Bher, 27 in G-6, 26 in G-8, 25 in G-11, 20 each in G-13 and I-8 while G-8 is on the top with 408 suspected cases followed by 115 in Bhara Kahu, 81 in Tarlai, 73 in G-9, 69 in G-11, 64 in Loi Bher, 66 in G-7, 63 in G-6, 60 in E-11, 56 in Sohan, and 49 each in I-10 and F-6.
Officials said 77 healthcare staff, 73 students, 39 government officials, 35 businessmen and 25 labourers were among the confirmed cases in the capital.
District Health Officer Dr Zaeem Zia said two of the three outlets sealed in F-7 were de-sealed. Gourmet Bakery and Hatim Supermarket were de-sealed after their staff tested negative. The two outlets remained sealed for a day, the DHO added.
Five of the total 33 people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Murree have recovered.
According to Medical Superintendent (MS) of Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (THQ) Murree Dr Abdul Salam Abbasi, 20 patients were shifted to the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) and five of them recovered and were sent home.
As many as 13 are admitted to the THQ hospital, and six out of them tested negative after two week and would be discharged if their second test also showed them negative.
Assistant Commissioner Murree Zahid Hussain told Dawn that if the Punjab government did not allow entry of tourists, the resort town will remain closed for tourists even on Eid holidays, he added.
Four more family members of a Covid-19 victim in Kahuta were diagnosed with coronavirus on Friday. The health authorities have quarantined the family members in their house in Mohalla Chahaat in Kahuta.
A couple of days ago, the man had tested positive and was shifted to the Chakri quarantine centre. Samples of his family member had been sent for screening.
Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2020