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March 28, 2020

Sihala Police Training College hit by coronavirus

National

March 28, 2020

RAWALPINDI: There are serious apprehensions circulating that the Punjab Police is seriously hit by coronavirus that has infected the Punjab Police officials undergoing training as well as the staff working in the Sihala Police Training College.

It was learnt that Inspector Ghulam Sarwar, serving in the Sihala Police Training College, had sent his son and daughter to study in Wuhan, the epicenter of this disease in China. Soon after the outbreak of virus in Wuhan and before the Chinese government clamped complete lockdown on the whole province, Inspector Ghulam Sarwar called his siblings back to Pakistan. It was learnt that he got his son and daughter checked up from the National Institution of Health (NIH) where the doctors advised Inspector Ghulam Sarwar to keep the two children in complete isolation, though the children did not show any signs of pandemic.

Inspector Ghulam Sarwar, instead of keeping the two children in isolation, sought the permission from the administration to keep his children in his residence inside the Sihala Police Training College compound.

Meanwhile, one official of the Sihala Police Training College security staff went to attend the annual religious preaching congregation in Raiwind near Lahore. On his return on March 18, he joined his duties along with other 8 officials of his team of security staff. After a few days, he underwent the test for coronavirus when he started showing symptoms and was shifted to the hospital while the others of his colleagues were sent in isolation.

Because of the situation the circle concerned are apprehensive about the possibility that the whole staff and the under training officials and officers, a total of 1,200, could have already become infected with the virus.

When Commandant Police Training College Sihala, Additional Inspector-General Tariq Masood Yasin was contacted, he confirmed the incident. “Allah Almighty had prevented us of falling victim to a disastrous situation. There were 450 cadets under training at the college who were about to pass out after completing their training,” the Commandant Sihala Police College said.

“They had already completed their training and we had sent a request to the Inspector-General Police (IGP) Punjab to attend the passing-out parade as chief guests. However, he was not available for the event before March 23. As a result we sent all 450 cadets on leave on March 13 with the instructions that they will be duly informed about the day when the passing-out parade will be held,” the Commandant Sihala Police College told ‘The News’.

“The security official of the College, who had gone to Raiwind to attend annual preaching congregation returned and joined his duty on March 18 and was tested positive for the virus a few days later. Had we not sent the passing out cadets on leave before his return, he could have infected all the police force,” Commandant Sihala Police College, Additional Inspector General Tariq Masood Yasin said while talking to ‘The News’. He said that every possible and very strict security measures are always in place for the safety and security of the staff of the College and the cadets under training.