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Manga villagers protest as lockdown bites after coronavirus death

Peshawar

March 21, 2020

MARDAN: The villagers in Manga which had reported the first death from coronavirus in the country on Friday demanded food and other essential items following the lockdown of the village.

They protested against the district administration while complaining about lack of food items. The Mardan administration had sealed the Union Council Manga early Thursday after the death of a villager, Sadaat Khan, from the coronavirus. Saadat Khan, a dispenser, had fallen ill after returning from Saudi Arabia where he performed Umrah.

Police were deployed in different parts Manga and residents were restricted to their homes. The administration shifted the family members and neighbours of the deceased to the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, where a quarantine centre for the suspected coronavirus patients has been established. According to a statement issued by Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Abid Wazir, screening of 380 people of the Manga Union Council has been conducted. He added that about 322 villagers were declared healthy during the screening process while 29 people were listed as suspected. Seven patients were admitted in the isolation centre and their blood samples were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad for testing.

The district administration also established three main coronavirus quarantine centries in Mardan district. Meanwhile, the Manga villagers staged protest after being locked down. They complained that they had been confined to their homes since Thursday and were short of food and other items of daily use. They asked the government to provide them food items and other facilities in their houses if the administration wanted to keep the union council locked down.

The police and security forces personnel later reached the spot and persuaded the protesters to disperse. The officials assured the villagers that the district administration would provide them food items and other facilities. Later, the district administration brought in vehicles to spray the village with disinfectant in a bid to control the spread of the virus.