PESHAWAR: After bearing the hardship of a complete lockdown for over three weeks, residents of Manga Union Council in Mardan took a sigh of relief on Sunday after the district administration announced a phase-wise end to the isolation, having disinfected all villages of the union council.
On the directives of the provincial government, the Mardan district administration on issued a notification on Sunday which ended the lockdown.
The notification said a team of the National Institute of Health (NIH) led by Dr Moeen visited the Manga UC and took 109 swab samples from random individuals in four clusters of the UC. All of them tested negative.
All the villages in the Manga UC will be disinfected before the lockdown is removed, it read.
The Manga Union Council (UC) in Mardan had been sealed on March 19 last month after the first official novel coronavirus (Covid-19) fatality of the country, 50-year-old Saadat Khan. was reported from the area.
The provincial health department had taken swab samples from 46 people, who had come in contact with the Covid-19 victim. Of those who came into contact with him, 39 had tested positive.
Over subsequent weeks, the health department tested as many as 522 people in the district of which 88 were confirmed to be infected with Covid-19.
Two villages sealed in Karak
Meanwhile, the Karak district administration on Sunday imposed lockdown in two areas of the district after two Covid-19 positive patients emerged there.
In a notification, the district administration said 10 houses and shops in the Sabirabad area and 16 houses in the Mithawala village have been sealed as a precaution to contain the virus.
‘Timely measures yielded results’
Celebrating the ‘success’ in Manga, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Sunday said that although the fight to contain the Covid-19 pandemic was far from over, the measures taken by the provincial government in Mardan had yielded positive results.
He pointed to the negative test results of the 109 people picked randomly for Covid-19 tests in Manga UC in Mardan and the 150 Iran-returned people quarantined in DI Khan who has been sent home as proof of their efforts.
Expressing his government’s resolve, the chief minister said efforts to prevent the virus from spread are still underway, more measures being taken with each passing day and the nation will emerge as victorious.
Meanwhile, scores of patients both confirmed and suspected at the Gomal Medical College quarantine centre on Sunday protested against the college principal Dr Majid Saleem for reportedly using derogatory language against them.
With reports that using plasma from recovered patients could offer an antidote for infected patients, the Adviser to Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir on Sunday briefed the media that the K-P Health Department has constituted a five-member committee, comprising Dr Shahjahan, Dr Fazal Raziq, Dr Khalid Khan, Dr Hamida Qureshi and Dr Usman Khattak to prepare plasma extracts from the blood of patients who have recovered from Covid-19.
The plasma will be used to treat coronavirus patients, the adviser said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2020.