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March 29, 2020

SP supervising security in locked down village tests positive for coronavirus

Peshawar

March 29, 2020

PESHAWAR: A superintendent of police (SP) supervising security in a locked down village in Mardan has been tested positive for coronavirus.

Senior police officials on Saturday said SP Operations Mardan, Waqar Kharal has tested positive for coronavirus. He along with the district police officer and other officials was handling security in Manga village that has been locked down after the first death in Pakistan due to coronavirus was reported from there. Officials confirmed that Waqar Kharal, an officer of the Police Service of Pakistan, has been quarantined at his residence. More police officials are likely to be tested as they too had been in contact with the villagers. Heavy contingents of police have been deployed in Manga village since the death of a villager, Saadat Khan due to coronavirus. The deceased had returned from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah and hundreds of people had come to greet him on his homecoming.

An immigration officer who attended him at the Peshawar airport has also tested positive. Subsequently, more FIA officials had to undergo tests as a precautionary measure. Over 40 people from the village including relatives of the deceased had also tested positive and quarantined.

District Police Officer Mardan, Sajjad Khan appreciated Waqar Kharal and all the policemen performing duty with commitment. “Police jawans and officers will continue their duties without any fear with utmost professionalism taking all precautionary measures.

The force deployed at Manga and Garden Campus Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan are being provided food and PPEs at these places while screening system has been established at the Police Lines entrance,” said Sajjad Khan.

A number of senior police officials on Saturday posted the picture of SP Operations Mardan, Waqar Kharal, paying tributes to him for being in the field from day one without any proper gear.

They added that the official tested positive after continuoua visits to Manga to keep a check on the situation and boost the morale of the force. Waqar Kharal recently posted a message on social media asking the public to stay at home as the police is out for them.

Over 230 policemen are deployed in Manga village where highest number of positive cases of coronavirus in the province has been reported from a single contact. Manga is a rural union council in Mardan district on the main Charsadda Road. The village is spread over lush green fields. Thousands of people of the area have been suffering due to the lockdown. A number of organisations are working in the area to provide ration and food to the people during the lockdown.

The village has been quarantined for around two weeks now and heavy contingents of police and army are deployed there to perform duty in three shifts until the threat of COVID-19 is overcome. Four station house officers (SHOs) are deployed in the area as supervisory officers. The sub divisional officer Mardan City is the overall in-charge and is being assisted by SDPO Headquarters. According to the senior officials, accommodation and assembly point of the cops has been arranged near the Police Post Manga so that they do not need to meet the rest of the policemen.

The cops have also been provided gloves, gowns and masks to protect them. Apart from these cops, 70 police officials are guarding the quarantine facility at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan under the supervision of another SDPO.

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