Capital admin warns of action over false information about Covid-19

Published June 13, 2020
G-9 residents buy essential items on Friday hours before the area was to be sealed following emergence of Covid-19 cases. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
G-9 residents buy essential items on Friday hours before the area was to be sealed following emergence of Covid-19 cases. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: The capital administration on Friday issued warning to those involved in spreading false information about Covid-19.

Addressing a press briefing, Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat said cases would be registered against those involved in such a practice.

Action will be taken against those spreading disinformation about the coronavirus cases in any area or among the residents, home remedies and self-medication. The usage of home remedies and self-medication may result in other complications to citizens, he added.

Besides, it can also lead to shortage and unavailability of ingredients used in the remedies and medicines as people start buying it and stocking them. He said the shortage also results in a price hike.

The DC said the capital administration was ensuring the supply and availability of medicines in medical stores. He said no one would be allowed to increase the prices of medicines.

Cases will be registered against those involved in such practice, says DC

About the situation in hospitals, Shafqaat said efforts were in progress to increase the number of critical care beds in the healthcare centres, including hospitals, to treat critical Covid-19 patients.

He said 100 beds were being arranged for the virus affected patients at Federal General Hospital.

At present, there are 450 critical care beds available in the capital, he added.

Disinfection walk-through gates and tunnels are useless, as they have no impact on the virus, the DC added. But disinfectant spray activity will continue.

Over the violation of SOPs, strict action has been taken, Shafqaat said. Without disclosing their names, he said a number of government offices had also been sealed over the violation.

On the recommendation and advice of the Ministry of National Health Services, areas are being sealed where the virus has spread massively. No one will be allowed to go out of a sealed area, including government officials, except to buy essential items or in an emergency such as medical assistance, he added.

Two sub-sector of G-9 and its Markaz, commonly known as Karachi Company, was sealed late on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the capital saw a record increase in the death of the Covid-19 patients as seven more patients passed away.

Besides, 463 more people tested positive.

The death toll from the virus has reached 72 while the number of positive cases increased to 6699, officials of the capital administration said, adding on June 10 and 11, 178 and 277 positive cases and five and three deaths were reported, respectively.

Those who died on June 11 and 12 were residents of G-9, I-9, I-10, E-11, E-16, G-13, F-6 Lohi Bher and Shahzad Town.

During the current week, 44 hotels, 120 shops, 22 workshops and seven industrial zones were sealed over violation of the SOPs.

Rawalpindi

As many as 80 people tested positive for Covid-19 while one patient died and 102 others were discharged after recovering from the disease on Friday.

A 49-year-old woman from Muslim Town in Sadiqabad was isolated at her home where she passed away, health officials said.

With the new cases, the number of confirmed patients in the Rawalpindi district reached 3179. So far, 118 people have died and 1616 others discharged from Rawalpindi’s four main hospitals.

At present, 1445 confirmed patients are under treatment including 391 patients at the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU), Holy Family Hospital (HFH), Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital.

The number of those on home isolation increased to 1054.

Apart from this, 1755 suspected patients were also brought to three hospitals and their samples were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the BBH laboratory and the results were awaited.

The local administrations also keep 3833 people on quarantine because they had been in close contacts of the confirmed patients, and 2762 of these people were isolated in their houses.

As many as 10 District Health Authority teams have been deployed in 588 houses to monitor the health condition of those isolated in their homes.

On the other hand, the district administration on Friday sealed 28 shops and imposed fines amounting to Rs185,000 on violations of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Teams from the district administration visited markets and bazaars in Raja Bazaar, Saddar, Commercial Market and main bazaars of Murree, Taxila, Gujar Khan, Kahuta, Kotli Sattian and Kalar Syedan.

Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood told Dawn that the SOPs in public places were being implemented strictly and no negligence would be tolerated by the officials.

He said from June 4 to June 12, Rs2.2 million fines had been imposed on 1250 shop owners in the four districts of Rawalpindi division.

He said 266 public transport vehicles were impounded after passengers were found not wearing face masks and maintaining social distance in the vehicles.

Attock

After 15 more people tested positive in Attock in the last 24 hours, the total number of confirmed cases in the district reached 282 on Friday.

An official statement by the health department said three of the new cases were reported from the Attock city, five from tehsil Hassanabdal, four from Fatehjang and three from Hazro.

District focal person for Covid-19 Dr Asif Arbab Niazi said so far screening of 6297 people had been carried out while the number of suspected patients increased to 2716. Out of these, 2125 tested negative while results of 309 were yet to be received.

He said 10 patients were under treatment at different health centres and five of them were in a critical condition. Moreover, 163 positive patients were isolated in their homes.

He said 69 patients have so far recovered from the disease in the district.

Meanwhile, another patient died of Covid-19 in Attock raising the tally to 14.

The 70-year-old resident of village Mirza was admitted to a military hospital in Rawalpindi.

Taxila

The number of confirmed cases in Taxila and Wah increased to 260.

Deputy district officer health Dr Sara Qadeer said 20 positive patients were under treatment in hospitals while 152 were home isolated.

She said all the patients were stable. So far 74 positive patients have recovered in the tehsil.

She said all new cases reported during the last 24 hours belonged to urban areas of Wah. — Additional reporting by Amjad Iqbal

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2020

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