CHITRAL: The suspected coronavirus patients in Chitral are being sent to Peshawar for screening and tests due to lack of any such facility in the area.

Local sources said three suspected coronavirus patients from Chitral have been sent to Peshawar so far.

Hanifullah, a student of second-year at Government Degree College Chitral, who had symptoms like that of coronavirus patients, was shifted to Peshawar two days ago. Hanifullah returned from Karachi last week and on Wednesday, he was taken to District Headquarters Hospital Chitral when his condition deteriorated. From there, he was referred to Peshawar as the Chitral Hospital did not have facility for coronavirus screening or testing.

Doctors in Chitral declared the case of Hanifullah as a suspected coronavirus case after which the police and Levies personnel were deployed outside the family’s house to restrict their movement. So the houses of Hanifullah and his relatives have become quarantines and family members are not allowed to meet anyone as it is feared that it might cause coronavirus spread in the area.

Hanifullah’s uncle and social activist Iqbal Murad said Hanifullah had gone to Karachi and on return he complained of fever, flue and pain after which he was taken to hospital. He said the DHQ Hospital Chitral did not have any facility of scanning or test, therefore, he was referred to Peshawar. He also complained that his brother was made to sit with the patient inside an ambulance without any safety gear or face mask. He said they took Hanifullah to Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar from where he was taken to Police Services Hospital, which is specified by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for coronavirus patients. He said tests of Hanifullah were taken. However, results of the tests haven’t arrived.

Iqbal Murad said the government is making claims of making emergency plans to meet coronavirus challenge, but there is no facility for suspected patients in Chitral. He said it takes about 15 hours to travel from Chitral to Peshawar. He said if any person has coronavirus, then he can infect many others during the long travel. He appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan and KP Chief Minister Imran Khan to establish at least one testing centre for coronavirus in the two districts of Chitral to end difficulties of people.