RAWALPINDI: Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Mohammad Ali on Saturday expressed concerns over the increasing number of Covid-19 cases and asked the cantonment boards to fully implement the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in ongoing campaigns for the local government elections scheduled to be held on Sept 12.
On Saturday, six lives were lost to the virus in the district along with 267 more cases while the federal capital reported two deaths and 250 new cases.
In a meeting held to review the arrangements for the elections, the deputy commissioner said the polls were being held at a time when educational institutions had been closed along with imposition of other restrictions to check the spread of the virus.
He asked the police and the district administration to help the cantonment authorities make foolproof arrangements for the elections.
Rawalpindi is among 24 districts in the country where new restrictions have been imposed. Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have been implemented in the 24 selected districts from September 4 to September 12 by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to stem the spread of the virus.
However, the cantonment boards in Rawalpindi and Chaklala failed to stop the candidates from violating the SOPs. On a daily basis, corner meetings are being held in different parts of the cantonments.
Schools, colleges and universities have been closed in the cantonment areas but rush in election-related meetings is still being observed. As per the NPIs, such gatherings are not allowed.
For the last three weeks, most of the Covid-19 cases have been reported from cantonment areas compared to the city and other tehsils of the district.
Six people died on Saturday while 267 people were diagnosed with the virus in the district. However, 138 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery in the last 24 hours.
As per the District Health Authority, the positivity rate on Saturday reduced from 10.48 per cent to 6.84pc. The data showed that 3,905 tests were conducted and 267 of them were found to be positive in the last 24 hours.
There are eight patients on ventilators, 91 on oxygen and 106 are stable.
Two deaths along with 250 new cases were reported in the capital.
Officials of the capital administration said both the deceased were in the age groups of 20-29 and 60-69. One of them was a resident of E-11 and the address of the other could not be known.
In the last 24 hours, 5,405 tests were conducted and the positive rate remained 4.62pc.
— Additional reporting by Munawer Azeem
Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2021