CHITRAL: Twenty four residents of Madak Lusht village here have been diagnosed with Covid-19 during a random testing.

Swab samples were collected from 40 villagers basis before being sent to the laboratory for testing by the health department.

Regional head of Aga Khan Health Service Pakistan Mirajuddin confirming the development in the isolated village bordering Swat district and said most of the confirmed cases found in the random testing had a history of travelling to other parts of the country.

He said 20 of the cases were asymptomatic and they’re isolated in own homes, while the others were shifted to the AKHS coronavirus emergency response centre in Booni area.

He said contacts of the confirmed patients, including family members, were being traced for virus testing and the exercise could take a couple of days to complete.

DC orders lockdown in area

Deputy commissioner of Chitral Naveed Ahmed said he had ordered lockdown of the village to check the entry and exit of the people to it.

He said he had asked the assistant commissioner of Drosh area to demarcate the village’s boundary and enforce the lockdown.

However, the assistant commissioner said as the local community had already restricted the entry of people to the houses of the confirmed cases, he didn’t visit the village.

He said the local police had been put on alert to check the people’s movement in the village.

On Wednesday, a team of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme visited the village and distributed hand sanitisers, soaps, face masks, disinfectants and protective gear to health workers.

Led by senior manager Farid Ahmad, the team also arranged an Covid-19 awareness session in the village for elders and volunteers and guided them on how to contain the virus.

They were tasked with educating villagers on Covid-19 prevention.

The Chitral region has so far recorded 10 Covid-19 deaths and 199 cases.

A total of 176 and 23 cases have been reported in Lower and Upper Chitral districts, respectively.

A doctor of the DHQ hospital said the people’s carelessness and non-compliance with SOPs had led to an increase in Covid-19 cases in Chitral at a time when other parts of the country were recording a decline in virus incidence.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2020