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May 29, 2020

Risk of contracting Covid-19 looms large as positive cases are from everywhere in ICT

Islamabad

May 29, 2020

Islamabad : The risk of contracting coronavirus illness, COVID-19 is now ever greater in the federal capital as every nook and corner of the city has positive cases of the disease now and the data reveals that Islamabad is reporting the highest number of cases – 2015 so far reported as confirmed – as per its population compared with other districts of the country.

The reasons behind maximum number of cases being reported from Islamabad are yet to be explored however in general, either it is due to high percentage of tests being performed in Islamabad Capital Territory unlike other districts or the disease is being transmitted from person to person at a greater pace. Anyhow whatever be the reasons, the virus is existing and being transmitted.

As per information, fomites or things that are being used or touched by an infected person can transmit the disease to the healthy people and even the shopping bags and items you purchase and the money change you receive back can bring in the virus since every place in the city has positive cases.

Head of Planning and Development at Health Department Islamabad Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Durrani who is an epidemiologist and member of an international body of epidemiologists called GOARN (Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network) expressed this while talking to ‘The News’ on Thursday.

He added the educated class and a part of community at large is observing bio safety precautions yet we need to assess whether these are enough to safeguard people from the virus. The data from the federal capital is showing that the population here is at a greater risk of contracting disease now, he said.

He added even the shoes, bottles, plastic bags, lunch packs, disposable coffee or Ice cream cups may cause infection carrying germs that were touched by infected people who initially transmit the disease but may or may not have developed the symptoms, “so staying strictly at home is advisable. Please don’t put yourself into grave risk that may end in repentance forever.”

He added only a wise member of the family be allowed to visit markets for buying essential edibles and necessary grocery. By avoiding precautions, going for outing and roaming about for unnecessary shopping may end up in a situation that you may get infected and bring the disease home and end up losing your parents who are most susceptible. So kindly give it a second thought to observe strict safety precautions, said Dr. Durrani who has served in communicable diseases’ surveillance and response for over 10 years with almost eight years exclusively in WHO as National Surveillance Officer at NIH from 2003 to 2011.

He added the COVID-19 is not airborne in general instead its transmission is human to human through contact but it may become airborne in highly congested markets, shops, shopping malls, bus stops or such places as the virus remains suspended in air after coughing of an infected person or is present in sneezed water droplets that are easily be inhaled by healthy persons.

Using good quality sanitizers after each interaction with people is recommended. One should use new mask while going out and on reaching home, one should disinfect shoes, clothes and plastic bags carrying grocery. Never touch nose or eyes while outside, said Dr. Durrani.

Dr. Durrani was the first person in Pakistan who discovered Dengue in 2003 in the country and again he was the first person who discovered Bird Flu virus in Birds in February 2006 in Pakistan. He was the first person who discovered first case of Bird Flu Virus that crossed species barrier and infected humans in October 2007 in the country.

He said washing of hands and feet with warm water and soap on reaching home is recommended. Most of the hospitals have reached saturation point and are refusing patients and in such a scenario, are not we heading towards a grave disaster and strangely enough we are ourselves creating this manmade disaster just to satisfy our inner self by buying few materials at the cost of our parents and family members, he said. Lockdown and distancing with SOPs are the only solution, said Dr. Durrani.