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March 26, 2020

230 cops deployed in Mardan village to enforce lockdown

National

March 26, 2020

PESHAWAR: As many as 230 policemen were deployed in the Manga village in Mardan district where 39 positive cases of coronavirus have been reported from a single contact that had returned from abroad.

One Saadat Khan recently died after he contracted coronavirus in Saudi Arabia where he had gone to perform Umra. On Wednesday, 39 people from the village including relatives of the deceased tested positive for coronavirus. They were all asymptomatic. Five members of his family had already tested positive. Manga is a rural union council on the main Charsadda Road. The village has a small market while most of the area is spread over lush green fields.

Thousands of people from the area are suffering due to lockdown after the virus spread to many locals, the majority of whom had come to greet and meet Saadat Khan on his return from Umra. The village has been quarantined for over a week now and heavy contingents of police and army are deployed there to perform duty in three shifts until the area is cleared of the coronavirus.

"There are four station house officers (SHOs) deployed in the area as supervisory officers. The sub-divisional officer Mardan City is the overall in-charge who is being assisted by SDPO Headquarters," District Police Officer of Mardan Sajjad Khan told The News.

He added accommodation and assembly point of the constabulary had been arranged near the Police Post of Manga so that they do not need to meet the rest of the cops.

"Gloves, gowns and masks have been provided to the constabulary to safeguard their health. Seventy police officials are guarding the quarantine facility at Abdul Wali Khan University under the supervision of another SDPI," added the DPO.

The official along with his deputies and other officials has visited the area multiple times to convince the charged locals to stay home as it is better for them and the other villagers. People were angry at being disallowed to go out due to the lockdown.

Authorities are regulating food supply and movement of philanthropists inside the union council to ensure the outsiders are not affected while announcements are being made through loudspeakers asking people to stay at home.

"The Mardan Police have registered 90 FIRs against the violators of the lockdown across the district, including those who arranged weddings. Snap checking teams have been made to prevent the inter-city and intra-city traffic. Rickshaw stands have been closed too while an awareness drive has been launched in the district to help people understand the gravity of the situation," said Sajjad Khan.

Many have been mentioning the example of Manga to create awareness among the public about how gathering and going out of the home can result in the spread of the virus to many.

"People should learn from Manga. If they have symptoms, they can spread it to others by not staying at home. Similarly, while going out of home, there are fears that one meets someone infected and get the virus from him to spread it to his family and others he or she meets," said Faheem Khan, a resident of Mardan.

Several from the quarantine centre set for the family and close circle of Saadat Khan reportedly fled a day after they were quarantined, making the job difficult for the authorities who will have to find those they met after leaving the isolation facility.