Nine areas in capital sealed after Covid-19 outbreak

Updated Jun 04 2020


Benazir Bhutto Hospital OPD to be turned into Covid-19 centre. — AFP/File
Benazir Bhutto Hospital OPD to be turned into Covid-19 centre. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: The capital administration has sealed nine areas in the capital following massive outbreaks of Covid-19. In addition, 295 new cases of Covid-19 and four more deaths were reported on Wednesday.

A notification issued from the office of the district magistrate said that Huawei Tech, Saudi Pak Tower in Blue Area, the Pakistan Sports Board, Gulraigan in Chattha Bakhtawar, Street 13-C in the National Police Foundation in E-11/4, Street 26 and sub-street 110 in I-10/4, Street 111 in G-9/4, Street 54 in G-7/2, Block No.6 in PWD Colony and Street 62 in G-6/4 have been sealed and the police, Rangers and army have been asked to cordon off these areas for public safety.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat said these are high density areas where people have not been following standard operating procedures, but added that only streets were sealed as part of a ‘smart lockdown’ policy.

Six cases of Covid-19 were reported from the PSB, and the patients met with a number of people, he said. Huawei Tech was also sealed after the office was examined and disinfected, and a decision would be made on whether to reopen it.

Benazir Bhutto Hospital OPD to be turned into Covid-19 centre

The COVID Nerve Centre at the Citizen Facilitation Centre in G-11/4 was also sealed after seven staffers tested positive for Covid-19, all of whom have been isolated.

Other staffers, including four officials of the army who were stationed there, have been quarantined, he said.

District Health Officer Dr Zaeem Zia told Dawn that the capital’s District Health Office (DHO) in G-9 was sealed for a couple of days and was reopened on Wednesday after all the necessary precautions were taken.

He said the DHO sealed nine localities and took other precautions to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Dr Zia said seven cases were reported from a street in the National Police Foundation, 18 from a street in G-9/4, five from Block-6 in PWD Colony, seven from a street in G-6/4 and 22 from Saudi Pak Tower floor of the tower has been sealed, he added.

Also on Wednesday, the death toll from Covid-19 rose to 38 after four more patients died and Islamabad has now reported 3,188 cases overall, up from 2,893 a day ago, administration officials said.

Dr Zia said 30 cases were reported from F-7, followed by 18 from G-9, 15 from Chak Shahzad, 14 each from F-6, I-10/4 and the Defence Housing Authority, 13 from G-6, 12 each from G-10 and G-8, 11 from Bhara Kahu, 10 each from F-8 and G-7, nine each from G-11, F-11 and Ghouri Town, eight from I-8, seven from E-11, six each from F-10 and G-13, five each from Tarlai and PWD, four each from Soan Garden, Bahria Town, G-5 and I-9 and three each from Khanna, Korang Town and F-5. Another 11 areas reported two cases each and five areas reported one case each.

Fewer cases reported in Pindi

The number of new Covid-19 cases fell to 18 on Wednesday, but health officials said this was mainly because the National Institute of Health (NIH) has released fewer test results.

Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood told Dawn that there has not been a decrease in the number of patients, but fewer reports of Covid-19 tests have been received from laboratories.

“The number of patients has fluctuated, but if the number of patients falls continuously for a week or more, than we can say that the number of patients has fallen,” he said.

He added that 1,014 suspected patients are still admitted to hospitals in Rawalpindi district. There were also 20 more cases reported in the other three districts of Rawalpindi division - 14 in Attock, four in Chakwal and two in Jhelum.

No deaths were reported in Rawalpindi, Attock or Jhelum but two patients died in Chakwal, he added.

Rawalpindi has now reported 2,666 cases of Covid-19, with 99 deaths and 1,296 patients discharged after recovering.

There are 471 patients being treated in the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology, Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and District Headquarters Hospital and 800 patients are isolated in their homes.

District Health Authority CEO Dr Suhail Ahmed told Dawn that awareness needs to be created among the public about the importance of taking precautions at work and in markets.

He said that if people do not adopt safety measures, the health system could collapse under the number of patients.

-He said the government has decided to close the BBH outpatient department, which will be used as a coronavirus management centre in a day or two. A meeting of the Rawalpindi Medical College was held on Wednesday to make arrangements in this regard, he said.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2020