Lockdown ends in Mardan as Covid positivity rate dips

Published May 3, 2021
A general view of a deserted commercial market area during lockdown in Peshawar on May 2. — AFP
A general view of a deserted commercial market area during lockdown in Peshawar on May 2. — AFP

PESHAWAR/MARDAN: Coronavirus claimed 42 more lives and 787 new cases were detected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday as the weeklong lockdown ended in Mardan after slump in infectivity level of virus in the district where positivity for virus declined after imposition of restrictions.

Amid three wave of the pandemic, which has so far killed 3,392 persons and infected 1,20,064 others since its onset, Provincial Doctors Association chairman Dr Zubair Zahir in a statement said that elective services had been stopped in Hayatabad Medical Complex, Bara and Hazara division where only critically-ill and injured patients would get treatment in accident and emergency departments.

“The strike will be extended to the whole province if government does not lodge FIRs against Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Nighat Orakzai and Balochistan Awami Party’s Shafiq Sher Afridi for violence against health staffers at HMC and PTI MNA Iqbal Afridi, who held hostage medical superintend in tehsil headquarters hospital Dogra in Bara with a mob,” he said.

PDA has requested the government to award compensation, revert deduction of taxes from medics, restore ad-hoc relief to doctors and immediately compensate the families of health workers, who died of Copvid-19 in public hospitals.

KP doctors continue strike to protest violence by lawmakers

“Most of the fallen health workers have small children in schools and they desperately need financial assistance. This will be a moral boost for all of us,” said Dr Zubair.

He said that a financial package was approved in April 2020 for the fallen health workers according to which each of the deceased was entitled to get Rs7 million but a long delay demoralised those, who were currently involved in investigation and management of the Covid-19 patients.

“It is responsibility of government to take action against the influential people for abusing and disgracing male and female staff including doctors and nurses at the hospitals,” he said.

Dr Zubair said that Covid-19 and emergency services would continue in the hospitals. “We hope the government will resolve the issue and punish the parliamentarians in accordance with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Healthcare Service Providers and Facilities (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2019, a law passed by the present government to protect health workers against armed interventions, physical violence, abuses and violence by people,” he said.

“Covid-19 positivity has climbed down to 13 per cent from over 36 per cent prior to lockdown measures in Mardan. It indicates that restrictions imposed a week ago in the district proved effective. Life will restart normally from Monday. Markets will be stayed closed after 6pm,” said Dr Hamid Khan, the head of District Command and Control Room Covid-19.

He said that the decision was made in a meeting held at Commissioner House but administration would continue campaign to ensure adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Dr Hamid said that lockdown would be re-imposed from May 8 in line with the decision made by the provincial government. He added that of the 32 Covid-19 ventilators in the district, 24 were unoccupied.

A report by health department said that 17 of the mortalities happened in Peshawar, 10 in Mardan, four in Swat, three in Bannu, two in Abbottabad and one each in Dera Ismail Khan, Orakzai, Bajaur, Malakand, Buner and Charsadda.

Peshawar also diagnosed 152 more cases, Mardan 96, Dir Upper 51, Haripur 50, Nowshera 44, Swat 38, Malakand 37, Charsadda 27, Dera Ismail Khan 26, Swabi 24, Dir Lower 23 and Kurram recorded 20 new cases of coronavirus.

The report said that the number of recovered patients reached 104,903 with 982 more recovering from the infectious ailment during the last 24 hours.

There are total 11,769 active cases in the province now. A total of 1,609,104 Covid-19 tests have been conducted free of cost in the province.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2021


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