A major chunk of people from Malakand and Hazara, with symptoms similar to coronavirus, has been avoiding visiting hospitals for COVID-19 testing out of fear, despite there being a rise in cases of the deadly virus in the region.
The highest spike in the covid-19 cases was seen in Shangla during the last week and the tally has been reached to 390 with 80 active cases, 30 suspected cases, and 03 deaths.
Doctor Shafi-ul-Mulk, medical superintendent (MS) at DHQ hospital, Alpuri, told that before the covid-19 pandemic they had over 1000 daily patients at the facility’s outpatient department OPD and now rarely 50-100 patients visit for their medical check-up.
“Majority of people having covid-19 symptoms are reluctant to visit hospitals and afraid that their test could have resulted positive. Such people are causing of the spread of the virus and infect other people because they do not adopt precautionary measures,” He said.
Shangla has recorded 74 cases in the last 10 days, the highest spike as whole of the last over 100 days of the pandemic.
Muhabat Shah, a local said that when covid-19 symptoms appeared he was fearing of being infected with the infection but suddenly breathing shortness started, he decided to inform friends for prayer for his recovery.
“Doctors of the local hospitals had come to know through the social media and then visited me and taken swab samples from me for the test which had resulted positive,” The covid-19 recovered patient, said.
He said as he experienced the illness, he would suggest everyone must adopt safety precautions SOPs for their protection from the virus because it stops the breathing even, therefor public should not take it lightly.
Dr Hafiz Sanaullah, DMS at THQ hospital Bisham, said once first brother in a family died with covid-19, they visited the house and asked them for sampling for tests but the bereaved family refused and after a week his elder brother also died after being infected with the virus.
“Before the Novel coronavirus outbreak we have entertained 200-500 patients at the OPD but now rarely 10-15 patients visit the hospital for medical examination. People afraid of being infected with the virus at the hospital,” He said.
Another fact is that covid-19 symptomatic people in some parts had isolated themselves in their houses and recovered.
Azam Khan, who had tested positive of covid-19, said that during his isolation period he realised he would not have fallen ill of covid-19 if he adopted precautionary measures.
“It was the hard time for me as inside the home I was unable to meet my children and family members,” He said.
He suggested that symptomatic people should visit hospitals for tests for the sack of their elders’ lives.
Doctor Sharifullah Saqib, DMS at DHQ hospital, Shangla said that people do not take covid-19 seriously and considering it conspiracies and he appeals to those people who thought it was a joke for the sake of their elders because the virus was a threat to elderly people.
“I request to the current government as the major hospitals of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have space issue for coronavirus patients, make arrangements for HDU unit in the DHQ hospital Shangla, so that we could treat intensive patients of covid-19 in because serious patients have breathing issue,” He said.
He added that the cases were being increased with the passing day and people don’t adopt safety precautions nor follow SOPs which caused the spread of the deadly virus.

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