Virus kills 10 more in Rawalpindi

Seven Islamabad sub-sectors sealed due to rising Covid-19 infections


​ Our Correspondents April 15, 2021
City Magistrate Ghulam Mustafa Chandio supervises margin lines being marked outside markets in the Blue Area to maintain social distancing while queuing up to shops in the federal capital. PHOTO: ONLINE

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD:

The deadly coronavirus killed 10 more people in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, while, the number of patients requiring oxygen therapy is also increasing rapidly.

Three patients succumbed to the virus at the Holy Family Hospital (HFH), four at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and three at the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Kidney Liver Transplant (RIUKT).

Some 276 patients are receiving treatment in these hospitals and among them, 245 are on oxygen and eight were shifted to ventilators.

Owing to the rapid increase in patients depending on excess oxygen, the system is under pressure. The district health department has once again asked eligible citizens to get themselves vaccinated.

A day ago, 15 people had died of the novel coronavirus in Rawalpindi. According to details, seven patients had succumbed to the virus at the HFH, six at the BBH and two each at the RIU and the RIUKT.

Seven sub-sectors sealed

The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has sealed seven sub-sectors as the number of Covid-19 cases continued to rise in the federal capital.

According to a notification issued by the district magistrate, these localities were sealed on the recommendation of the health office after the reporting of more positive cases from these areas. The sub-sectors include G-6/1, G-6/2, G-7/2, G-8/1, G-9/2, G-10/4 and G-11/3.

All markets, shopping malls, restaurants, public and private offices in these areas will remain closed till further orders. There will be a complete ban on the movement of people to and from these areas by public and private transport except for the limited movement of one person one vehicle to and from the exempted facilities, the notification read.

The standard operating procedures in the sealed areas would be enforced strictly to ensure the safety of residents and to contain the spread of the virus.

3,056 residents vaccinated

Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anwarul Haq has said that 3,056 people were vaccinated across Rawalpindi district in the last 24 hours after which the tally of vaccinated citizens has touched 54,452.

During his visit to the Mass Vaccination Center at Fatima Jinnah University on Wednesday, the DC said that the district administration was enforcing the implementation of Covid-19 SOPs daily.

In the last 24 hours, 14 raids were conducted against inter-city transport across the district during which fines worth Rs 7,500 were imposed. Similarly, while inspecting 37 public places and parks, fines of Rs2,300 were imposed for violations of SOPs.

He also said 82 shopping malls, markets and plazas were also inspected, of which two were found to be violating SOPs and were fined Rs25,500.

A fine of Rs3,000 was imposed while inspecting railway platforms while 20 marriage halls and 46 restaurants were also checked. Two of these restaurants were sealed and a fine of Rs14,000 was imposed.

‘Observe SOPs in Ramazan’

Several health experts issued an advisory on Wednesday, asking the public to remain vigilant and ensure they follow safety precautions put in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease during the holy month of Ramazan.

The health experts while talking to a private news channel requested the faithful visiting mosques to follow health guidelines like bringing their own prayer mats, maintain social distancing and staying clear of large crowds.

Leading medical expert Dr Muhammad Salman stressed that adherence to the health guidelines issued by the government is the only way to curb the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. He said it was unfortunate that the people’s attitude towards the SOPs was casual and they were not exercising caution. He added that even patients visiting hospitals did not care for social distancing nor use masks or follow other safety measures.

The health expert has warned that ignoring Covid measures will lead to a jump in infection rates. They urged the masses to wear face masks, particularly in situations where social distancing is not possible, stressing that the careless attitude of the public can lead to another spike in the number of cases being detected.

He said masks and social distancing were very important safety measures when it came to travelling and dining out in Ramazan. He said the SOPs issued by the government must be enforced in all mosques and imambargahs. He said ulema were aware of the situation and doing everything to observe SOPs.

Dr Salman advised people to perform ablution at home and wash hands for twenty seconds with soap before leaving for the mosque and ensure they wear masks.

Another health expert Dr Hassan Abbas Zaheer said the available corona vaccine has been prepared after thorough scientific research.

So people should have no worries about its efficacy. Moreover, he said every individual was personally responsible to adopt precautionary measures.

He warned that Ramazan gatherings and events that do not follow strict Covid-19 SOPs could cause a spike in the transmission of the virus among the public. He added his advice was: “Stay vigilant and eat healthy food during the month of Ramazan,” adding, people should be wary of attending events drawing large crowds and refrain from visiting Ramazan bazaars.

with additional input from APP.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2021.

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