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21,383 arrested in KP for not following SOPs

Peshawar

May 23, 2020

PESHAWAR: Over 21,000 people have so far been arrested and more than 11,600 cases were lodged for violation of standard operating procedure (SOPs) during the lockdown in Khyber Pàkhtunkhwa.

Khyber Pàkhtunkhwa, particularly Peshawar, has the highest ratio of deaths from Covid-19. At least 216 people have died in Peshawar while 2,694 people have been tested positive in the city district. In KP, a total of 365 people have died while 7,155 have tested positive thus far. Cases are being registered daily as thousands of people are seen in markets and public places without following the SOPs. More people have rushed to the markets for Eidul Fitr shopping after the government relaxed the lockdown recently. An official of the Khyber Pàkhtunkhwa Police informed that 21,381 people have been arrested while 11,655 cases were lodged against those who were not following SOPs announced by the government. The official said 27,000 policemen have been performing duty to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “Out of these 4,300 are deployed at the quarantine centres,” he added. One policeman Mohammad Faheem has died of Çovid-19 in KP while a total of 46 have tested positive.

It has been observed that majority of people visiting trade centres daily ahead of Eid are neither wearing facemasks nor following social distancing. Only a few shops have arranged sanitizers while the huge majority has no such arrangement. Most of the markets remain crowded throughout the day ahead of Eid after the lockdown was relaxed. The district administration, police and other departments are struggling to keep the situation under control by lodging of cases and sending people behind bars or imposing fine for not following social distancing and not wearing masks.

The number of the locked down streets are increasing almost daily after more cases are being reported. An official said 405 places have been locked down in different parts of the province. The police and the district administration quarantine a specific place immediately after reporting of a positive coronavirus case as per SOPs announced by the government. Many believe the number of Çovid-19 patients is higher but majority of the local population do not approach doctors or go for tests until their condition worsens. A number of people who have been tested privately are being treated at homes without bringing it into the notice of the administration and police.

Many have suggested that prayer leaders of all the mosques across Peshawar and KP, especially villages and suburbs, should be involved and former nazims, councillors and teachers of government schools and colleges should be engaged after Eid to run an effective awareness campaign to ensure social distancing and use of masks before the situation further worsens.

“There are dozens of conspiracy theories in circulation in KP and rest of the country. A huge number of people believe corona is a drama and that is why they don’t follow the SOPs. They need to be educated and told how it has killed hundreds while thousands are struggling for life in the country. All the prayer leaders and not the few selected ones should be taken into confidence to educate the people to take care of themselves and their families,” a doctor suggested on social media.