ISLAMABAD: Departments at two universities have been sealed after students and staff tested positive for Covid-19.
Capital administration officials said that the Fazia Medical College’s IT Department and Air University’s Humanities Department were sealed on Wednesday on orders from the deputy commissioner.
The police have been directed to cordon off the premises to limit the spread of the disease.
An order issued from the office of the deputy commissioner sealing the two departments also said that all exposed students and staff must be tested for Covid-19 and standard operating procedure (SOP) should be enforced. All close contacts of the confirmed patients must quarantine for 14 days.
Another order by the deputy commissioner’s office has made it mandatory for all markets, plazas, malls, restaurants, cafés, wedding halls, marquees, cinemas and theatres, barbershops, beauty salons and spas, tailor’s shops, expo halls, business centres, academies and gyms to close at 10pm.
All amusement parks, arcades and public parks will close at 6pm, the order added.
Medical stores, pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, roadside eateries, fruit and vegetable shops, karyana stores, postal and courier services, public transport, tyre repairs shops, tandoors and nanbais, bakeries and takeaway and home delivery services may run 24 hours a day, subject to complete adherence with Covid-19 SOP and guidelines.
Hundreds await Covid-19 test results in Rawalpindi as cases in twin cities continue to rise
This order will come into force on Oct 29 and will remain in force unless amended, altered, withdrawn or repealed. The capital administration has also made it mandatory for people to wear masks in public places in Islamabad for two months, in view of the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.
An order from the deputy commissioner’s office stated that, given the rising positivity of Covid-19 cases, it has become essential that the general public use and wear masks in public to prevent the community spread of viruses.
It said there are sufficient grounds under section 144 of the CrPC, adding that the district magistrate has hereby ordered the use of face masks and coverings by the general public while visiting public places in the capital.
The order will come into force with immediate effect and will remain in force for two months.
The administration had made a similar announcement in June and had fined people for violations, officials said.
Since the order was issued, a case can be registered against violators under section 188 of the PPC, they added.
Violators can be arrested and would be released on sureties that they will wear masks or face coverings. Islamabad reported 119 cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, along with one death. There were 4,023 tests carried out in the last 24 hours.
The capital’s Covid-19 death toll rose to 214 and the number of confirmed cases has reached 19,300. So far, 17,547 patients have recovered and there are currently 1,432 active cases.
Of the new patients reported, 63 are male and 56 are female.
There were 10 cases reported from G-11, followed by nine from F-6, eight from G-6, seven each from F-10 and DHA, six each from G-9 and G-7, five each from F-11 and Chak Shahzad, four each from PWD, G-8, G-10, F-8 and E-11, three each from I-8, Banigala and Bahria Town, two each from Naval Anchorage, I-9, I-10, Shah Allah Ditta, Ghouri Town, G-14, G-13 and B-17, and one each from Rawat, Pind Bhagwal, National Police Foundation, Nilore, Media Town, Margalla Town, G-5, G-15, F-7, E-8 and Bhara Kahu.
Another 42 people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in Rawalpindi while six patients recovered from the disease. There are still 448 patients awaiting the results of their tests.
Although the number of Covid-19 cases in the garrison city is rising, the district administration has no plans to introduce targeted or ‘smart’ lockdowns. However, the provincial government has issued a notification making it mandatory to wear masks in public.
A health department official said that people who are still waiting for their Covid-19 results have been advised to isolate themselves in their homes and to visit hospitals immediately if they feel discomfort while breathing or have a fever with a cough and flu symptoms.
The official said a few suspected patients have been isolated at Holy Family Hospital (HFH).
He added that although it is not necessary that everyone suffering from a fever or flu has contracted Covid-19, people with these symptoms have to isolate themselves until their laboratory reports arrive.
There are currently 37 confirmed Covid-19 patients admitted to HFH, of which 10 are from outside the district, while 178 patients are isolated in their homes and are being checked on by health authority officials in selected areas.
Local administrations have quarantined 574 people.
Rawalpindi district has reported 7,549 confirmed cases of Covid-19 so far, with 315 deaths and 7,019 recoveries.
Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood said 9,009 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the division since March, including 7,549 in Rawalpindi, 653 in Attock, 509 in Jhelum and 298 in Chakwal.
There have been 384 deaths – 315 in Rawalpindi, 39 in Chakwal, 21 in Attock and nine in Jhelum – and 8,384 recoveries – 7,109 in Rawalpindi, 619 in Attock, 493 in Jhelum and 253 in Chakwal.
Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2020