ISLAMABAD - In an attempt to avert anti-government rallies, the siege of capital continued on the second day Friday, confining around 2 million residents to their homes.

"We have been trapped in our homes for last three days. We don't have sufficient eatables, and local markets have become dry; due to blockades, supplies are not reaching the stores", Azam Abbasi, a resident of Bannigala said in a depressed voice.

“I tried all shops in Bannigala and other adjacent villages but was unable to buy pasteurised milk for my kids. Enough is enough! We cannot go out of the area, don't have meat, vegetables and fruits at local markets,” expressed Abbasi.

Bannigala, like other areas of the capital, has been isolated from rest of the city by placing double containers on Korang Road, Murree road, and Rawal Dam chowk road, along with heavy contingent of law enforcing agencies.

Some, who managed to reach small market of Khana Pul via Tramiri more than 20km away from Bannigala/Barakahu to buy eatables, complained of the exhorting prices.

“I have travelled so long to buy some vegetables but after hearing the prices now I simply want to cry. Vegetables like tomato, potato, onion, Tinda, lady finger are being sold at prices three times than original and nobody is there to check on that, said Khalil Ahmed, who managed to reach Khanna pul's vegetable and fruit stalls.

The prices of fruits, vegetables and other eatables have been on upward trend since Ramazan. During Eid days, the prices shoot and rumours of sealing the capital fuelled them high. “I'm least bothered about incumbent government or any revolution; what I'm really concerned is about bread and butter for my family, which I'm not getting as all roads are closed,” said Siraj Ahmed, a taxi driver, residing in Barakahu area.

It was not only Barakahu or Bannigala, but also residents of most of the sectors of the capital complained of similar hardships due to lack of supplies.

Due to the blockades, patients were unable to reach hospitals, no wonder the number of patients dropped drastically in the biggest hospital of the capital.

“OPD is completely deserted, while number of patients in Emergency has been reduced to 80 per cent,” said Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Dr Wasim Khawaja. He said that around 100 minor and major surgery operations were performed in the hospital in normal routine, but for last some days the number of surgeries has been reduced to almost 25 per day. No exact figure is available but doctors believe due to the roadblocks many patients expired.

“More than 50 per cent patients coming to any emergency need immediate medical assistance, otherwise they may not survive. If 80 per cent patients are not coming to emergency, there are chances that many of them would not have survived,” said Dr Rashid Karim of a private hospital.

He was concerned that many of the local clinics did not have proper equipment and expertise to handle the emergencies.

Due to restricted movement in the city, many flights at Islamabad Airport were also cancelled. On Friday alone, four flights namely, PK-660 NL-124, I-402 and PK-300, NL-167, I-401, PK-661, PK-308, NL-127 were called off. PIA officials, while talking to TheNation, said that the flights were cancelled due to less or zero passengers. As Islamabad is sealed, even half of the passengers who booked their tickets are not showing up at the airport, said a PIA official.

He said that the PIA cancelled its flights on purely commercial reasons; however, some private airlines complained that they had not been provided sufficient fuel to operate the flights.

Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Mujahid Sherdil was unavailable to comment.