ISLAMABAD - As the participants of the long march have been sitting in the open air in harsh weather since Monday morning, many have been falling sick and contracting seasonal ailments.

In two main hospitals Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) and Polyclinic Hospital, cases were reported as marchers including women, children and police officials with complaints of abdominal pain, fever, cough, chest infections were taken to the hospitals and given medical treatment.

Pims Deputy Executive Director Dr Ayesha Essani informed that a total nine patients were brought at the emergency ward of the hospital and of them two were injured during accidents and seven had the complains of fever and coughing and they were discharged after treatment.

According to spokesperson of Polyclinic Hospital Sharif Astori total 25 patients were brought to the hospital and of them four were police officials who got injured during a scuffle with the marchers and the rest of them were affected by the cold weather.

Severe weather, exhaustion and change of atmosphere affected the people as they travelled from different parts of the country to Islamabad and they came with complaints of fever, coughing, flue and chest infections, he said.

Two police officials also suffered from fever and an eight-month child, Umme Amama also fall ill. He said lack of preventative measures and unhygienic conditions may cause more people to contract the diseases.  

It is important to maintain a good standard of hygiene to ensure that people remain safe during the season, suggested Dr. Waseem Khawaja, Pims Spokesperson.

Good personal hygiene should be maintained and outside food prepared or served in unhygienic conditions should be avoided as they may cause stomach infections and viral fevers.