CHAKWAL: The district of Chakwal has started witnessing a sharp increase in Covid-19 patients as it reported 12 new cases in two days.

Ten cases were reported on Saturday while two emerged on Sunday. Among the new cases is a barber whose infection has worried the district administration as risk posed by him through his customers is likely to yield disturbing outcomes.

“Eight members of a fruit trader’s family tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday,” Deputy Commissioner retired Captain Abdul Sattar Esani told Dawn.

He said the barber of the fruit trader was tested positive while an inmate of the sub-jail Chakwal also contracted the virus.

The fruit trader from Tatral village, who is in his seventies, tested positive on May 4 when he was admitted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).

The new eight patients from his family included his two sons (aged 44, 37), three grandsons (aged 25, 11, 8), two granddaughters (aged 18 years and nine months) and a daughter-in-law, 35.

“All the eight members of the family have been shifted to the High Dependency Unit of District Headquarters Hospital,” the DC said, adding the barber from whom the fruit trader would have a hair cut was also shifted to DHQ.

“We have isolated the prisoner in the jail,” he said.

Dr Khalid Hassan, the focal person for Covid-19 in Chakwal, said: “Two patients are the wife and a daughter of a police man who hails from Amirpur Mangan village and tested positive when he returned to Lahore after spending leave at home,” Dr Hassan said.

The DC said another ward was added to the High Dependency Unit. “We have increased the bed capacity from 16 to 30.”

Responding to a question regarding the field hospital which was set up near Nakka Kahoot village with the capacity of 100 beds, he said for the time being the DHQ hospital had enough capacity to accommodate the existing patients.

“If we shift them to the field hospital, we would need additional medical staff and other resources too.”

He said random samplings of security forces personnel, employees of district administration, inmates and health workers were being taken.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2020

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