ISLAMABAD - In the middle of the battle against novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the health departments under Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration have initiated an internal rift by interfering in allocated areas, The Nation learnt on Friday.

The Director General (DG) District Health Services (DHS) Dr. Hassan Orooj has written a letter to the Deputy Commissioner (DC), ICT, alleging that the District Health Officer (DHO) has illegally encroached and interfered in the work of DHS.

The letter available with The Nation alleged that the interference of DHO in the work of DHS has resulted in the spread of COVID-19.

In the letter written to DC, the DHS Dr. Hassan Orooj said that National Bank Branch F-6 was sealed and management contacted DHS, MCI for de-sealing. DHS instructed preventive measures for coronavirus in the branch and branch was found non-compliant in two consecutive visits of MCI. The letter said that in the meanwhile, DHO de-sealed the branch on 23-06-2020 but under what legal authority? 

DHS claimed that it is an illegal conduct and encroachment by District Health Officer and his representatives in the affairs of DHS, MCI in urban Islamabad.

The letter stated that it has not only caused embarrassment and confusion in Islamabad among institutions and community but an act of disgrace by DHO office, which has put all institutions at stake. 

DHS in the letter also alleged that earlier upon such manoeuvres of DHO and several acts of illegalities, a notification by Deputy Commissioner, ICT was issued. Instructions therefore were passed to DHO.

Despite he is continuing to interfere in the work and mandate area of MCI (which is looking after urban Islamabad legally under the directorate of Health Services, MCI) in accordance with the local government Act 2015.

It also said that same is causing huge loss to government exchequer because of duplication and wastage of services and resources pointed several times earlier.

The letter said that this is the mandate of local government and premises are sealed keeping in view the risk posed to the people.

It said that the bank staff and visitors are at risk. The DHO office has committed an illegal act in contravention to the law against welfare and safety of the people.

This illegal act is tantamount to criminal act under the law leading to spread of coronavirus in Islamabad. Thus onus of responsibility for nullifying the implementation or preventive measures against Covid-19 rests on DHO office, the letter said.

It further added that DHO office may therefore be finally warned to abstain from unlawful encroachment in the area and interfere in the mandate of the health services.