PESHAWAR: As 16 more coronavirus (Covid-19) patients breathed their last in the province on Friday amid a call by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan for the people to mark Eidul Fitr with simplicity and follow social distancing guidelines to stem the spread of the infection.

The death toll from the virus reached 381 in the province, said a report of the health department.

According to it, nine fatalities were reported in Peshawar district and one each in Mansehra, Abbottabad, Lakki Marwat, Kohat, Bajaur, Mardan and Nowshera districts.

Peshawar has so far recorded 225 Covid-19 deaths, most in any district in the country.

CM urges people to practise social distancing on Eid

The confirmed virus patients in the province totalled 7,391 after the detecting of 236 new cases.

The report said 99 patients recovered from the virus taking the tally of such cases in the province to 2,297.

A total of 111 new cases were reported in Peshawar. The confirmed patients in the city totalled 2,805, most in any district of the country.

Swat recorded 30 new cases taking its overall case count to 645, second most in the province. Thirty people have so far died of the virus in the district, which the second highest such number after Peshawar.

According to the report, the Covid-19 cases totalled 206 in Nowshera after the surfacing of 13 new ones.

The district has so far recorded 12 deaths from coronavirus.

A total of 12 more residents in Battagram tested positive for the virus taking the overall case count of the district to 74.

Charsadda and Mardan recorded 10 and nine new cases respectively.

In the day, the country’s case fatality rate (CFR) was recorded at 2.10 per cent compared to Thursday’s 2.11 per cent.

The CFR in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was 5.15 per cent compared to Thursday’s 5.10 per cent, the highest in the country.

In Peshawar, the CFR stood at 8.02 per cent up from Thursday’s 8.01 per cent, the highest in any city of the country.

During the last 24 hours, 50 new deaths were reported in the country and 16 of them were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suggesting that the latter has contributed 32 per cent of the nationwide new fatalities.

Meanwhile, the chief minister and his cabinet members have decided to celebrate Eidul Fitr with simplicity as a measure in the prevailing Coronavirus situation, said a statement.

The statement said the chief minister cancelled his visit to the native town of Swat during Eid holidays and decided he would stay at his official residence in Peshawar and won’t receive guests for Eid greetings.

The chief minister also directed his cabinet members, advisers and special assistants to celebrate Eid in a simple manner and avoid sharing Eid greetings with people at their residences.

He asked lawmakers and religious and political leaders to play the due effective role in convincing people to celebrate the festival in a simple manner to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The chief minister urged the people to stay home during Eid holidays, celebrate the festival with family and strictly follow social distancing guidelines and adopt other precautionary measures against the virus for own and others’ safety.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020