37 transporters returning from Afghanistan test positive for virus.

Byline: Ibrahim Shinwari

LANDI KOTAL -- Thirty-seven of the total 108 Pakistani transporters, whose swab samples were taken 28 hours after their arrival from Afghanistan on Friday, tested positive for coronavirus, officials said here on Sunday.

They said that a total of 195 transporters arrived after the government permitted the Pakistanis stranded in Afghanistan since March 16 to cross the border.

Health officials said that as per the Standard Operational Procedures, initially swab samples of at least 108 transporters of the total 195 were taken for detection of symptoms of Covid-19.

'We received results of the tests of these people and 37 were found to be infected with coronavirus while the rest of 85 were tested negative,' doctors at district headquarters hospital in Landi Kotal said.

Terming the results 'very alarming', Khyber Deputy Commissioner Mehmud Aslam Wazir told Dawn that they intensified monitoring of the affected transporters while the social distancing rule for the rest of the inmates in the government degree college quarantine centre was being observed strictly.

Khyber deputy commissioner terms test results alarming

He said that doctors were closely monitoring the health conditions of the affected persons and they would be immediately shifted to isolation wards if their condition deteriorated anytime.

Expressing his 'grave' concerns over the test results of the rest of the returning Pakistanis, who also included 177 women and about 90 children, Mr Wazir said that samples of those people would also be sent to laboratories once the 48 hours mandatory time was over.

The district administration has set up at least seven quarantine centres in Landi Kotal, Jamrud and Bara for the returning Pakistanis with a cumulative capacity of keeping around 1,500 persons.

Adviser to Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir said on Sunday that so far 713 stranded Pakistanis had returned to Pakistan via Torkham border during last two days. All the returning people, including women and children, were immediately shifted to quarantine centres in Landi Kotal and Jamrud.


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