A number of policemen Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) protesters who spent a chilly Friday night on roads complained of flu, temperature and aching muscles.
Talking to The Express Tribune on Saturday, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) spokesperson Dr Waseem Khawaja said that since Saturday morning, the hospital’s emergency department had admitted 14 Punjab policemen and five PTI marchers including women.
All had similar symptoms --- fever, flu, sore throats and muscular pains, he said.
A Punjab policeman said that throughout Friday night, they had to stand in the rain at Zero Point and did not have enough umbrellas to keep dry. He said that no arrangements were made for them, “not even a cup of tea to stay warm”.
“The condition of our colleagues, some of whom already had minor flu symptoms and sore throats before coming to Islamabad, has worsened due to the rain and chilly weather,” the policeman said.
The fresh spell of monsoon rain continued into Saturday.
Mohammad Junaid, an assistant meteorologist at Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), said that the shower and chilly winds brought the temperature down from 27 degree Celsius to 22 Celsius.
He said three mm of rain had been recorded in Zero Point and Saidpur, four mm in Chaklala and two mm in Bokhra.
“This spell of rain will continue till Sunday early morning, After a few days, the temperature in the twin cities will go back to the 34 to 36 degree range,” Junaid said.
Due to the ongoing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ‘Azadi march’ and Pakistan Awami Tehreek ‘Inqilab march’ in the capital, many Islamabad residents had been restricted to their homes.
People who wanted to enjoy the rainy weekend in Murree, Kashmir or even Rawal Lake or Shahdra had to postpone their plans as all roads leading to these areas were blocked due to the protests.
An Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) official said that Murree Road would remain blocked till the end of the PTI sit-in.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.