Temporary residential points high risk for coronavirus spread

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MULTAN   –   Lack of Standard Operating Procedures’ (SOPs) implementation at temporary residential areas and entry and exit points of the city for transporters could turn into coronavirus hotspots.  Residents complained that with the advent of the winter season, a large number of vendors have set up stalls of warm clothes, blankets, beds (Chorpay), pillows and other accessories available on rent for local people near general bus stands and other areas where no SOPs were being followed.   Transporters and passengers are the main customers of this kind of stuff as they usually get these things on rent available at a minor price. 

“The transporters from Balochistan, Karachi, Lahore and other cities prefer to stay at these points instead of hotels and rented rooms”, Aslam Tahir a local resident said. 

However, he said no proper mechanism was being observed at these areas to check coronavirus affected people coming from other cities. 

Another resident Aamir Ilyas said the district administration and other concerned departments were not taking the issue seriously which is a severe threat for residents of the city. 

A stall owners near general bus stand, Asfhaq Hussain told this scribe that he had been running the business for the last three years and earning handsome amount in every winter season. 

He said that he offered one traditional bed (Charpoy) at Rs 100 per night, charge Rs 50 for blanket and Rs 30 for a pillow per night from each person. He said that transporters were main customers as they prefer accommodation at cheap rates. 

Murtaza Khanm, another stall owner near Bahawalpur bypass said around he has around 60 to 70 customers daily in the winter season while in summer, the number customers increased. 

He informed that he charged Rs 100 per person for each night, adding that he also has a hotel from where these customers purchase food. 

Violations of social distancing, face masks, hand wash and other SoPs were a  normal routine there, Riaz Gul, a resident nearby general bus stand said. 

He also stated that there was no proper facility of washrooms, cleanliness and food quality checking at these points. 

A truck driver Muhammad Akhtar said that he used to drive loaded long vehicle about 10 to 12 hours daily and prefer these points for rest. 

             He said pickpocketing and swindlers were the common problems at these places and a number of people had been deprived of cash, valuables and documents. 

             Arif Ali a regular customer has also complained of poor cleanliness, dirty bed sheets, pillow covers and blanket at these points. 

             People urged concerned departments to take immediate action against the violation of SOPs and other issues of the area.


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