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189 places put under lockdown in Peshawar

Peshawar

June 6, 2020

PESHAWAR: As many as 189 places have been put under lockdown in different parts of the provincial capital after coronavirus positive cases were reported from there.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths are on the rise in Peshawar and rest of Khyber Pàkhtunkhwa. A sudden spike is being witnessed in coronavirus cases for the last couple of weeks, more so after Eidul Fitr.

The district administration and police have accelerated action against those not observing standard operating procedures (SOPs), including social distancing announced by the government. Markets, shops and other outlets are being fined for not following the SOPs. Individuals are also being fined for not wearing facemasks after these were made mandatory to prevent the spread of the virus.

An official told The News that a total of 352 places were sealed in the district and subsequently 163 have been de-sealed after recovery of the patients living there. The majority of the sealed places, around 240, are in urban Peshawar.

Currently more cases are being reported from villages and suburbs where majority do not follow the SOPs. The lack of education and in absence of a campaign by the government or administration for creating awareness among the public in rural areas and suburbs could result in further increase in positive cases. There are reports that many localities from where fresh cases are being reported are not being de-sealed, probably due to lack of manpower and facilities. The patients in these areas were quarantined at home by the families to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The official statistics reveal the recovery rate of patients of Covid-19 in the provincial capital is only 8.7 percent compared to 34.9 percent in Pakistan and 27.08 percent overall in Khyber Pàkhtunkhwa. The statistics of the departments concerned revealed that 3,221 people of 11,890 who had tested positive for Covid-19 have recovered in KP. This makes it 27.08 percent of the total cases.

On the other hand, the recovery in Peshawar is only 8.7 percent if the official figures are to be believed. Only 385 people have so far recovered of the 4,423 who tested positive in the city. This speaks volumes about the healthcare facilities at hospitals in Peshawar where the death toll is one of the highest. Many believe the number of Covid-19 patients is higher as majority of the local population do not approach doctors or go for tests until their condition worsens.

Many who tested positive are being treated at home without bringing it into the notice of the administration and police. There have been demands for aggressive awareness campaigns, especially in villages and suburban towns, as rumours are still circulating there that there is no virus and that it is a drama. People have asked the government to involve prayer leaders of all the mosques across Peshawar and KP and also engage former nazims, councillors and teachers of government schools and colleges to run an effective awareness campaign to educate the people and ensure social distancing and use of facemasks. There are dozens of conspiracy theories in circulation in KP and rest of the country about the coronavirus which leads to violation of the SOPs. Many don’t trust the hospitals saying they would be better if treated at home.