The third wave of the novel coronavirus has continued to intensify in the twin cities, with the federal capital reporting 388 more positive cases and Rawalpindi recording 308 new cases. As many as 52 Covid-positive patients are on ventilators in Islamabad.
Moreover, beds have been allotted for Covid-positive patients at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Poly Clinic Hospital and Capital Development Authority Hospital, a spokesperson from the District Health Office said on Friday. The Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) stepped up its efforts to reinforce the anti-coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the city for stemming its spread in an efficient manner, a senior official said.
He maintained that in addition to an extensive crackdown against the violators, a massive awareness campaign was in progress to sensitise the masses about the precautionary measures against the coronavirus. The official said strict action was being taken against those who were not adhering to the SOPs with fines being imposed on them. He added that compliance with SOPs at bus terminals and in public service vehicles was also being ensured to protect the commuters' life.
Furthermore, the number of coronavirus patients in Rawalpindi continued to be on the rise as 308 more people were diagnosed with the disease while ten people lost their lives and 146 people have recovered from the virus on Friday, a spokesperson said. According to data provided by the district administration, 18,701 people have been infected with the virus in Rawalpindi so far out of which 975, including two children, have died, while 15,683 people have fully recovered.
As per the statistics, more men are reported to contract the virus than women. A total of 8,017 people between the ages of 11 and 40 were infected with the virus out of which 4,697 were men and 3,320 were women. Between ages 41 and 50, a total of 2,760 people contracted the virus out of which 1,701 were men and 1,059 were women. Similarly, from 4,290 people between the ages of 51 and 100 affected with the virus, 3,405 were men and 1,731 were women.
The district administration maintained that in the past year, the recovery rate of corona patients in Rawalpindi stands at 84 percent with an infection rate of 11 percent while the death rate is said to be five percent. Moreover, the Rawalpindi Health Authority has vaccinated about 26,692 people in the district, District Health Coordinator for coronavirus vaccination Dr Jawad Zahid said on Friday. He mentioned that out of the 26,692 people that were administered the shot, priority was given to health workers and those above the age of 60.
‘Mobile vendors’ lauded by citizens for following SOPs
Vendors selling fruit and vegetable 'chaat' on colourfully decorated 'mobile vans' were seen adopting all Covid-19 safety measures in the federal capital on Friday. By offering affordable prices, they attracted a large number of customers from various areas of the city.
A vendor said that these mobile traders are giving tough competition to the shop owners these days by offering lower prices and quality food to the consumers. According to 'mobile vendors' at Melody Market, the shopkeepers are still selling chaat at the roadside and in small markets with unhygienic conditions which are leading to severe medical complications among citizens. The shopkeepers accused the roadside vendors of not covering food items, resulting in flies hovering over them.
Customers should avoid buying food from street vendors, and if they want to buy, they should ensure it is hygienic, warned a shopkeeper. A citizen remarked that habits such as not washing hands, not covering hair, use of contaminated water, slime layer on poorly cleaned utensils and improper handling of food should be checked.
However, she added, that these mobile pickups have adopted all relevant measures, giving citizens an opportunity to enjoy 'chat patti chaat' in the city. Young vendors on mobile vans also displayed special instructions for citizens, advising them to wear face masks and use sanitisers while purchasing food from their vans.
Ulema urged to ensure precautionary measures in mosques
The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has urged religious scholars and clerics to ensure strict implementation of anti-coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs) at all mosques, especially during the forthcoming holy month of Ramazan. The district administration made the request during a meeting held with Ulema on Friday belonging to various schools of thought.
According to a spokesperson, the Ulema were in agreement on holding the special congregational prayer performed during Ramazan while adhering to the anti-coronavirus SOPs. They also agreed to educate the masses on precautionary measures against the contagion so as to ensure its full implementation to curb the spread of the virus
Traders assure implementation of Covid protocols
The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) and Traders Action Committee (TAC) have said that traders cannot afford a complete lockdown. The shopkeepers are more in danger of dying from hunger than the coronavirus, maintained APAT and TAC President Ajmal Baloch in a meeting with the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) president on Friday.
Traders said they have agreed to follow all SOPs as a condition to continue business activities. Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat issued the notification in line with the schedule shared by the traders a day earlier, which was welcomed by the business community. The traders requested that the shopkeepers follow the directives and ensure the wearing of face masks.