ISLAMABAD                  -            As the number of Coronavirus cases continue to grow in the country, fear is spreading among people faster than the Coronavirus.

The confirmed Coronavirus cases have been increasing in the country with each passing day and the authorities are busy in taking measures to limit social interaction. They have banned large gatherings to promote social distancing with the sole objective of controlling spread of the virus.

Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) on Wednesday announced to continue its operations at its Licence Branch but with precautionary measures against Coronavirus. Hundreds of residents visit the ITP office daily to get their driving licences.

The earlier reports suggested that the high-ups have decided to close down the Branch but later it emerged that the office would remain open. According to the officials, extra measures would be adopted to minimise interaction of the visitors.

Islamabad Excise and Taxation department has also announced relaxation in rules so as to give more time and facilitate the visitors in transfer of vehicles. According to the officials, there will be no fine over delay in transfer of vehicles at the excise office.

The decision has been taken with an objective to motivate the visitors to stay at home and adopt social distancing until the virus threat subsides.

Islamabad police have also adopted measures for safety of its personnel and for the complainants visiting police stations to register their complaints against Coronavirus.

The police have announced to undertake scanning of those visiting the police stations and they would be briefed about precautionary measures against this virus. The decision has been taken so that the personnel accomplish their responsibilities in an efficient manner.

The purpose of these measures is to ensure safety of the police employees so that they could serve the public with dedication, according to the officials. Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs also on Wednesday announced to reduce the non-essential staff by 50 per cent on weekly rotation basis.

On the other hand, the uncertainty is driving panic-buying, especially of the face masks and hand sanitizers. The panic already led to emptying medical store shelves once loaded with masks and sanitizers, also increasing the prices of the products.

People have been seen visiting drug stores for anything that would prevent them from the virus. An owner of a medical store in I-10 Markaz said that people are still visiting the store for face masks and hand sanitizers.

“It’s because they [people] feel as if their survival is threatened and they need to do something to secure them from the virus,” said the owner who talked to this scribe on condition of anonymity.

As the panic grips the residents, the ICT Administration has also decided to cut through the confusion revolving around the virus and to help residents better understand what is happening. Detailing some of the common myths and misconceptions regarding Coronavirus, the administration said that there are so many misconceptions about Coronavirus. It told the residents that it is safe to receive a letter or a package from China.

“Do not spray your body with alcohol or chlorine as it would not kill any virus. There is no evidence that cats or dogs can be infected or spread virus. Not everyone who is infected with Coronavirus dies as it has a 97 percent survival rate,” the administration said on its social media page.

The ICT administration on Wednesday also sealed a pharmacy in the area of sector G-13, falling in the jurisdiction of Golra police station. The administration, on a tip off, raided the pharmacy and also confiscated the stock besides shifting one person to the lockup.

On the other hand, social media is the platform where one can see all kinds of unverified information about the virus and also the remedies. According to the social media posts, fraudsters are also active to take benefit of the situation.

Some consumers at the social media fear that swindlers may enter houses to sterilise and spray against Coronavirus. These people may overpower and loot the inmates once they enter the house to spray the building, they fear.