PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan directed the cabinet members, parliamentary secretaries and members of the provincial assembly to celebrate Eidul Azha in a simple manner and adhere to Covid-19 precautions as six more died of the virus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday.
According to a notification issued from Chief Minister Secretariat, all the ministers, advisers, parliamentary secretaries and members of the provincial assembly were instructed to take care of the situation with regard to the advent of the fourth wave of coronavirus and celebrate Eidul Azha in a simple way.
The chief minister said that he had himself decided not to meet people due to coronavirus on Eid because it was of paramount importance to comply with the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the strictest way.
“There is a fear of further spread of Corona epidemic on the occasion of Eidul Azha, therefore, members of the cabinet, parliamentary secretaries and members of the provincial assembly should avoid on Eid meeting with the people in their constituencies and chambers,” he said.
Fears further spread of the virus on the festive occasion
The chief minister said that strict implementation of SOPs and precautionary measures should be ensured to prevent further spread of the epidemic.
He also requested people to realise gravity of the situation and prevent meeting one another during the festivity as the fourth wave of the virus was more lethal.
“Even our minor negligence on this Eid can land us in great difficulty. We should stay home to interrupt transmission of the virus. I hope that people would observe the Covid-19 precautions,” he said.
The chief minister urged people to maintain cleanliness during Eid and avoid going to crowded places as the province had already reported Indian and UK variants of Covid-19. The only way to prevent the pandemic was adherence to social distancing, hand hygiene and avoidance meeting people on Eid, he added.
Mr Khan also instructed the administration to take special care of cleanliness and sanitation while disposing of the waste of sacrificial animals.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to the virus swelled to 4,397 and incidence reached 141,138 with the occurrence of 176 new infections in the province.
A report regarding Covid-19 compiled by health department said that of the infected patients, 134,433 (95per cent) including 148 recorded during the last 24 hours had already recovered from the infectious ailment.
Of the new cases, Peshawar recorded 102, Abbottabad 14 and Mardan 12, said the report. It said that three of the mortalities belonged to Peshawar, two to Kohat and one to Abbottabad.
Currently, the province is home to 2,308 active coronavirus patients, mostly in Peshawar, Nowshera, Mansehra, Swat and Abbottabad.
Health officials said that they heavily banked on district administration to ensure enforcement of SOPs during the Eid to make sure that the people stay safe from the infection.
The province had already registered 29 Indian, UK and South African variants of the virus, which had the capacity to spread rapidly than the local virus, they said.
The officials said that the foreign variants of the virus could cause more mortalities and hospitalisations and entailed other complications due to which the administration in collaboration with the respective district health officers would ensure that the people celebrate Eid in line with the guidelines issued by National Command and Operation Centre.
They said that the hospitals had the capacity to cope with the number of patients but SOPs were important to stop new infections.
The government has also issued guidelines for Eidul Azha prayers to stem tide of the virus during the festival occasion, they added.
Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2021