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April 10, 2020

Police take religious scholars into confidence to ensure social distancing

Peshawar

April 10, 2020

PESHAWAR: The police have been taking religious scholars into confidence to ensure effective lockdown in the provincial capital and other districts.

Meanwhile, Manga village in Mardan district was de-sealed after improvement in the situation due to measures taken to control the spread of the virus. The Capital City Police have strengthened 42 checkpoints across the provincial capital to ensure effective lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Apart from the police, soldiers of the army and Frontier Constabulary have also been deployed at various points.

Police have also taken steps to ensure social distancing in urban, suburban and rural towns, especially during the Friday prayers. A large number of people gather at mosques for weekly Friday prayers. Some mosques in the urban areas have ensured social distancing but the people in villages are still gathering in large numbers during prayers, especially on Fridays.

A representative delegation of religious elders on Thursday held a meeting with Capital City Police Officer Mohammad Ali Gandapur during which it was agreed to constitute committees of religious scholars, police and administration in Cantonment, City, Rural and Saddar divisions of Peshawar to engage prayers leaders in fight against corona. An official said the meeting also decided that all prayer leaders in city, cantonment, suburbs and villages would be asked to ensure that directives of the government regarding social distancing are followed in mosques during regular and Friday prayers. Many mosques committees and prayer leaders in the outskirts of Peshawar weren’t approached until now. Apart from the overall lockdown, at least 15 streets are completely locked down in Peshawar after patients belonging to these localities tested positive for Covid-19. Also, a large number of people are seen crowding suburban towns and local markets without observing social distancing due to lack of education and awareness. This can result in a serious situation and cause the spread of the pandemic if not properly checked. Meanwhile, in Mardan the Manga village was de-sealed after improvement in the situation.

However, a couple of mohallas would remain sealed for the coming few days. The eastern parts of the Manga union council with population of over 50,000 were de-sealed a couple of days back. As many as 109 samples collected from the village after the lockdown tested negative, which led to the decision to de-seal Manga. This was the first mass level lockdown of a village where over 250 policemen were deployed after 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 village. MPA Abdul Salam, SP Operations Mardan, a station house officer and a number of other people tested positive as they remained in the village and interacted with people during the last two weeks. An FIA immigration officer, who had handled Saadat Khan on his arrival at the airport from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, also tested positive later.