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November 25, 2020

Smart lockdown imposed in Peshawar

Peshawar

November 25, 2020

PESHAWAR: Panicked by the rising number of positive cases of the coronavirus and subsequent deaths, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has finally started smart lockdown in the provincial capital to prevent transmission of the viral infection.

In Peshawar, all public and private sector hospitals are flooded with patients suffering from the coronavirus. The management of a well-equipped private hospital in Peshawar told The News all their ventilators were occupied by the Covid-19 patients and they had no other ventilator for the normal patients. On Tuesday, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lost nine lives to Covid-19 and reported 382 positive cases. The initiative of lockdown was started from Peshawar on Tuesday which has suffered more human losses than any other place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and has reported the highest number of positive cases so far. “The district administration Peshawar on recommendations of the district health officer and in exercise of the powers conferred under section 22 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Epidemic Control & Emergency Relief Act 2020 is pleased to order controlled entry and exit of the following localities of district Peshawar subject to conditions as noted thereafter,” the district administration announced in a notification issued on Tuesday. As per the notification, the localities that will remain closes from 18:00 hours on November 24, 2020 till further orders included: Street No2, sector L-2 Phase-III Hayatabad, Usma Mia Street near University of Peshawar, Street No-01, Professor Colony, Agriculture University, Street No-15-D, New Shami Road, Peshawar Cantonment, Street No-09, Sector E-2, Phase 1 Hayatabad, Sector 02, Shalimar Colony, Warsak Road, Street No-04, Block D, Executive Lodges, Warsak Road, Street No-09, Sector F-8, Phase VI, Hayatabad, Street No-12, New Shami Road, Peshawar Cantt, and Street No-01, Askari-6, Nasir Bagh Road Peshawar.

The district administration has said that except those supplying essential commodities to these localities, no other individual would be given access to exit to these places during the lockdown period. All shops, other than dealing in essential services including pharmacies, general stores, food supplies, tandoors, drinking water supplies, emergency, etc, will remain closed in these places during the lockdown period. The district administration and police officials as well as the health department will ensure implementation of the lockdown. The situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has suddenly deteriorated apparently due to lack of proper planning and prior preparations by the government and particularly the Health department.

Health experts had long alerted the government to be prepared for the second wave of coronavirus but no planning was made for professionally handling the pandemic. Except Peshawar, where the district administration has been raiding business and commercial centres and sealing their business outlets for their alleged failure of follow the so-called standard operating procedures (SOPs), there is no mechanism anywhere on government level to counter the pandemic, prevent transmission of the virus and reduce its impact on the society. The traders and shopkeepers in Peshawar complained that they had already suffered losses due to long lockdown earlier and now the district administration causing losses to their businesses by raiding their outlets, harassing them and their customers and then imposing heavy fines on them.

“I don’t understand why the government doesn’t see what’s happening in other districts. The easy job is to raid our outlets, seal them and impose heavy fine as if we are transmitting the virus,” said a shopkeeper, Mohammad Daud Iqbal in Peshawar Saddar. Meanwhile, nine people died of the viral infection and 382 more tested positive in the province. Of the nine fatalities, five were reported from Peshawar and four in Haripur. Peshawar has lost 631 people to the coronavirus and reported 16,974 positive cases so far, of which 165 were reported on Tuesday.