ISLAMABAD - As the daily wagers return to the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in search of livelihood, the management of ‘Panahgahs’ (shelter homes) has put in place a strategy to save its dwellers from contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) through extensive sensitization on the preventive measures.

“Soon after the Eid-ul-Fitr vacations, we ran the ‘Keep Panahgahs Clean’ campaign to instil hygienic habits in the residents, who have the greater chances of catching the coronavirus,” Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Shelter Homes Naseemur Rehman told the media here at the ‘G-9 Shelter Home’ during his routine inspection visit on Sunday.

He said the shelter homes’ managements along with the local administration had started lecturing the facilities providers on the precautionary measures which were imperative to keep the virus at bay.

To a question, the focal person said some six ‘Panahgahs’ in the twin cities had more than 30 staffers who were being educated regularly so that the health messages could be delivered to the dwellers by them through a face to face interaction.

He said large-sized radios had also been installed at the shelter homes to convey messages to the residents directly.

Special programmes were being broadcast on the specific radio channels in order to raise their awareness about the contagion, he added.

Naseem said the management took the Eid-ul-Fitr vacations as an ample opportunity to improve the basic services at the ‘Panahgahs’ as almost all the migrant workers had moved to their cities to spend the religious festival with their families.

“During the vacations, we boosted our efforts to transform the shelter homes into a place which promotes healthy lifestyle apart from providing food and shelter.”

Naseem said multiple initiatives had been taken under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to make these homes clean and green. “Disinfection of all the facilities has been made sure to prevent the pandemic outbreak,” he added.

He said teams were deputed at shelter homes to hold face to face interaction with its dwellers and sensitize them about the precautions required for preventing the virus spread.

“With the help of a Strengthening Participatory Organization, we have installed at least three hand-washing booths at each ‘Panah gah’of Islamabad including Bhara Kahu and others to ensure their safety from the coronavirus.”

“In the prevailing situation, hand-washing booths at the ‘Panahgahs’ will work as a critical equipment in combating the deadly virus which has devoured several lives across the world,” the focal person remarked.

He said all the shelter homes in Rawalpindi and Islamabad had been provided medical supplies after the migrant daily wage earners had started returning to the two cities in search of employment.