PESHAWAR: In an effort to bring down the escalating number of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, over 400 areas across the province have been put under the smart lockdown.
This was disclosed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister’s Adviser on Information and Public Relations Ajmal Wazir on Sunday.
Briefing the media on the current coronavirus situation in the province, he said that 553 new cases of the virus were confirmed on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 21,997. Moreover, there were 13 associated deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities from the virus in the province to 821. Another 473 patients recovered during this time, taking the total number of recoveries to 6,536.
Giving a breakdown of the sealed areas, Wazir said that the smart lockdown has been implemented in 129 areas of the Malakand division - which has 6,119 cases; 249 areas of the Hazara division - which has 1,874 cases; 31 localities of Peshawar - which has 7,555 cases in the city and 9,280 in the division; 14 areas of Kohat - which has 435 cases in the city and 1,172 in the division, nine areas of Mardan - which has 939 in the city and 1,295 in the division, seven areas of Dera Ismail Khan - which has 306 cases in the city and 385 in the division; and five areas of the Bannu division - which has 111 cases in the city and 178 in the entire division.
The adviser further said that per the smart lockdown strategy, district administrations and relief departments will provide all basic need items to residents of the sealed localities.
Similarly, all shops and markets in these localities will open for certain, pre-defined periods. Moreover, alternate routes have been specified for public transport in the affected areas.
In the urban areas, Wazir said, the health department has issued guidelines for home quarantine where clusters of up to 50 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed. In localities where clusters of 100 or more Covid-19 cases have been confirmed, all shops and markets will be regulated and social gatherings monitored.
Similarly, a street-level smart lockdown, monitoring of social gathering and the policy of shutting down shops and markets have been implemented in areas with 200 positive cases. A complete 14-day lockdown has been implemented in areas where there are over 500 positive cases.
The provincial adviser said that guidelines for rural areas have also been issued. Areas where up to 25 people have been infected, they are quarantined in their homes. Areas with at least 50 cases have been also sealed.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2020.