In the aftermath of COVID-19 outbreak and declaration of National Health Emergency in Pakistan, we collaborated with Punjab Masstransit (MetroBus) Authority.

In order to assess the protection and available safety measures for local commuters against COVID-19. Being the only most economic & time saving commute system available within the twin cities there were on average 120,000 passengers benefitting from the masstransit service on daily basis. Whereas this huge number results in mass gatherings at entry/exit stations and overcrowded buses which left commuters at the high risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Thus, after consultation with the local authority HAP installed hand sanitizers at respective 30 entry and exit points for the passengers and for more than 1,000 janitorial, ticketing and security staff serving at these stations. HA also oriented staff to make sure every passenger sanitizes hand before riding and after leaving bus. Thus enabling safe masstransit for more than 120,000 daily commuters reducing greater risk of exposure to COVID-19 ensuring hand hygiene.

We collaborated with Government of Punjab’s Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC) to facilitate 12 isolation centers & 700 maintenance staff

The maintenance, operations & cleanliness of the isolation centres in district Rawalpindi is being managed by the Government of Punjab's RWMC with dedicated 700 staff members as frontline responders. These responders are currently in process of disinfection & chlorination of these facilities and the safe disposal of health-care waste.

Based on this need, HAP collaborated with the RWMC and provided over 33 dispensers and around 70 litres of sanitizers for these isolation centers. Thus ensuring that the maintenance, janitorial and the medical staff dedicated at these centres; that and are the front line responders to the COVID-19 could ensure hand hygiene. Also, hundreds of suspected cases availing screening services from these centers were also benefitted.

Although COVID-19 pandemic has struck globally resulting in thousands of deaths till date but the economic losses are innumerable too

In Pakistan alone, this epidemic has left millions of daily wage laborers jobless where more than half of the country's population is already below the poverty line. Therefore, the implications of COVID-19 are multidimensional. Thus, HAP is working tirelessly to support these out of work laborers currently providing immediate relief and food assistance to more than 3,000 people.

Breaking The Chain

In order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, it's really important to aware masses on hygiene education whilst ensuring the most vulnerable have access to basic hygiene. As the virus does not move, people move it, thus HAP is currently providing more than 1,000 people with the family size hygiene kits including hand sanitizers, masks, gloves and other necessary items further ensuring personal & domestic hygiene. Hence, enhancing communities' resilience against COVID-19 through improved hygiene.

Deliver Food Packs

Country Director Human Appeal - Pakistan; Mr. Daud Saqlain visited the local slums of Islamabad today declaring service as a top priority during this pandemic to deliver much needed food packs at the door steps for the most vulnerable families struggling to survive during lock-down. These families have been provided with nutrition essentials sufficient to meet the monthly needs and of course will enable them to have healthy food during the holy month of Ramadan! Alhamdulillah we have been able to reach around 200 families (1,400 individuals) so far and the number will increase each day.


Strengthening backstage response to COVID-19 in Pakistan

Government of Punjab has declared 12 isolation centers in different vicinities of district Rawalpindi including university hostels, colleges and government institutes. Some of these centres also provide screening services to the suspected COVID-19 cases. Where the maintenance, janitorial & waste management services of these centres have been handed over to Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC), a government run & owned specialized service provider. Thus, RWMC has dedicated 700 of its staff to setup, maintain and clean these 12 centres with a minimum capacity of 2000 beds which can potentially be enhanced based on the need & case load. But due to the novelty of this virus itself and RWMC staff being first time involved in dealing with such outbreak, requires extensive measures for the safety and secuirty of these backstage workers besides doctors and paramedics and to ensure the critical hygiene and efficint waste management of these isolation centres. As on avergae, 2 kg per bed of healthcare waste is produced per patient which if not properly handled, these isolation centres instead of controlling the COVID-19 may result in further outbreak thus resulting in "virus nurseries". Second, the maintenanc & janitorial staff if not well protected will possibly ba at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 and may result in further outspread & life losses as human contact is the prime source of this virus (WHO).

Thus, HAP while considering the importance of backstage COVID-19 operations aims to ensure the safety and security of the maintenance staff and the effective maintenance of isolation centres through provision of PPEs, regular & effective disinfection of isolation centres, handwashing & sanitizing stations and safe waste management.