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April 6, 2020

Manga partly de-sealed, disinfected: 250 cops deployed since March 19 to prevent coronavirus spread

Peshawar

April 6, 2020

PESHAWAR: The eastern parts of Manga village in Mardan that was locked down on March 19 after the death of a coronavirus patient have been de-sealed to provide relief to thousands of villagers.

A notification in this regard was issued by deputy commissioner Mardan Abid Wazir on Sunday. The decision to de-seal parts of the union council was taken after a high-level meeting in the wake of improved situation in Manga. As many as 109 samples collected from the village after the lockdown tested negative for coronavirus the other day. Parts of the village have already been disinfected.

This was the first mass level lockdown of a village. The village has a population of over 56,000. The lockdown of the entire union council is likely to end in a few days. Over 250 policemen were deployed in Manga where a large number of people had tested positive for coronavirus from a single contact. As many as 82 people tested positive for coronavirus in Mardan and the majority was from Manga. A villager Saadat Khan died in mid-March after he contracted the virus while performing Umrah in Saudi Arabia. The village has been locked down since March 19.After over two weeks of lockdown, the suffering villagers started complaining that they were not able to go out for jobs and buy food for their families. Some welfare organisations were working in the area to ensure the supply of food to the villagers.

Two police officers, including the SP Operations Mardan, a station house officer and a number of other people had tested positive as they remained in the village in connection with their duties during the last two weeks. An FIA immigration officer, who had handled Saadat Khan on his arrival at the airport, also tested positive later. All these officers have been quarantined. Manga is a rural union council on the main Mardan-Charsadda Road. Thousands of people of the area have been suffering due to the lockdown after many locals were infected when they came to greet and meet Saadat Khan on his return from Umrah.

The village was quarantined for over two weeks now and heavy contingents of police and army were deployed there to perform duty in three shifts. “The village was locked down from March 19. We deployed four station house officers (SHOs) under two sub-divisional officers to ensure proper lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus,” District Police Officer Mardan Sajjad Khan told The News. Besides, he added, the accommodation and assembly point of the force was arranged near the Manga Police Post so that they do not need to meet the rest of the cops. “As many as 86 personnel were deployed at the quarantine centre in the Garden Campus of the Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKUM) while a Corona Control Room has been established in the DPO office,” he added. He informed that joint teams respond to violations of the lockdown and retrieval of suspected patients. “After the lockdown of the entire district on March 31, 150 personnel were deployed to hold nakabandis in two tiers and patrolling parties were formed. More than 500 FIRs have been lodged and about 900 people have been challaned for violations,” said the DPO. He added the Mardan Police have prepared Personal Protection Equipment and masks for the cops at the Police Lines.