BOONI: Volunteers in Upper Chitral under the platform of Chitral Heritage and Environment Protection Society (CHEPS) are set to launch the second phase of their awareness drive as COVID-19 cases started rising after the easing of the lockdown and carelessness of the residents.
The first coronavirus cases was reported from Upper Chitral on April 21 followed by emergence of scores of positive cases.
CHEPS Chairman Rehmat Ali told ChitralToday that he initiated the first phase of the awareness campaign on March 17 and worked with volunteers in almost all parts of Upper Chitral from Yarkhun, Laspur to Mulkhow valleys etc. This drive came to an end on April 24.
Initially, he added, his organization and its volunteers faced a number of issues as about 50 per cent of people neither accepted the gravity if the issue nor were ready to adopt safety measures. Moreover, 50 percent of people, especially elderly persons, were found to be under mental stress.
But the volunteers worked hard and with the assistance of the district administration created awareness even in far-off villages that helped contain the virus.
As with the lifting of the lockdown and carelessness of the people the virus started spreading fast across the country so was the case with Upper Chitral.
Keeping the situation in view and after a meeting of Mr Ali with DeputyCommissioner Shah Saud, CHEPS decided to launch the second phase of its campaign from July 5 with the objective of containing further spread of the virus and minimize its impact on the mental health of the residents, Mr Ali told ChitralToday.
In the second phase, CHEPS will help the district administration in implementing the COVID-19 SOPs and ensure that the communities continued all their activities as per the protocol.
The district administration and CHEPS will colloborate with all other organizations working in these issues.
CHEPS will provide training to local volunteers in identifying individuals who are violating the government precautions and SOPs besides assisting in implementing the smart lockdown.
The general population, especially the most vulnerable sections of society, are faced with mental health issues due to the current situation . CHEPS will organize different activities for such people in order to help them tackle withe the situation.