Pakistan News

Christians asked to avoid church congregations in KP

PESHAWAR: The government has asked members of Christian community to offer prayers inside houses as only five or less than five should congregate in churches to ensure social distancing rules for the prevention of Covid-19 pandemic in the province.

A notification issued by relief rehabilitation and settlement department on Wednesday said that the government had already declared emergency in view of the pandemic and therefore the members of Christian community should offer rituals in their homes and only five or less people designated by management, should congregate in a church.

It said that the decision was made after inputs from the religious scholars representing different schools of thoughts. If deemed necessary on medical grounds, restriction on number of people offering prayers and congregation at worship places including churches could be placed, it said.

Meanwhile, the health department has asked the medical teaching institutions and district headquarters hospitals to re-open necessary OPD and elective services in consonance with the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

On March 31, the health department closed down OPDs and elective services to ensure social distancing as part its preventive strategy against the Covid-19. However, a notification issued by the department on Wednesday ordered the hospitals to start services but abide by social distancing rules establishing proper triage system outside the hospitals or at the entry points and allow limited number of patients and visitors.

Govt directs hospitals to reopen OPDs, selective services

The healthcare providers should be provided with personal protective equipments for the sake of safety measures, it said. The private clinic will remain closed as usual.

Ajmal Wazir, adviser to chief minister on media, said in a statement that of 452 pilgrims at the three quarantine centres, 451 recovered and were sent home.

“Only one is left in Dera Ismail Khan quarantine centre. He is still positive,” he said.

The province had total 272 quarantine centres with 17,530 inmates and 110 isolation centres with 2,770 people but situation was under control, said Mr Wazir.

A separate statement said that the emergency control room established at Chief Minister Secretariat asked people to register their quarries and complaints regarding Covid-19 on UAN 091-111-712-713, telephone number 091-9222561-3, fax number 091-9210707 and WhatsApp number 0347-666849.

In Swabi, a local leader of the ruling PTI and another resident tested positive for coronavirus. Total number of confirmed cases in the district reached nine.

In Haripur, two new positive cases were registered and the number of coronavirus reached in the district.

The new cases included one from Khalabat Township and the other from Kamil Pur village. All the patients were in stable condition and isolated from rest of their family members.

The rapid response team has collected samples of 98 suspects, however, 62 have tested negative.

In Kurram tribal district, four family members of a woman, who died of Covid-19 few days ago in Peshawar, tested positive for the coronavirus.

In the area where the cases have reported, 850 people in 90 houses have been quarantined. They will remain quarantined for 14 days.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2020

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