LAHORE: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has directed all its officials manning the immigration counters at various airports of the country to use anti-coronavirus masks while performing their duty to avoid catching the viral disease.

According to FIA handout on Sunday, special efforts have been launched to create awareness among passengers about the lethal virus and preventive measures, besides screening of suspected carriers at all airports and Wagah border checkpost.

Thermal screening is also being carried out at airports, while special videos are shown to the FIA staff regarding the precautionary measures, it says.

“WHO safety standards will be implemented at all arrival posts and airports. The people who have traveled to China during the last couple of months will be specially screened,” it says.

500 Pakistani students in Wuhan ‘safe’

It adds that on Sunday some 71 Hong Kong-based Chinese nationals left for India after proper anti-coronavirus screening by specialist doctors at the Wagah border.

Meanwhile, Ministry of National Health Services Secretary Allah Bakhsh Malik in a statement said the Pakistan government and its embassy in China were actively monitoring the situation of coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.

“The embassy in Beijing and other sub-Missions in China are also in touch with the Pakistani community as well as Chinese authorities. Over 500 students and other community members in Wuhan, and in other parts of China, are safe. There is no report of infection in any Pakistani community member so far. The community has been reassured of full support and requested to follow health protocols issued by the Chinese authorities and stay indoors. The current situation calls for greater patience and perseverance,” he said.

Dr Malik further said noting the increase in the number of cases and its human-to-human transmission, the Chinese health ministry had put in place additional measures to reduce the risks associated with the viral infection.

“We laud the resolute efforts of Chinese authorities in dealing with the outbreak of the virus,” he said.

Dr Malik said students and community members had been advised to regularly visit the embassy’s website www.pakbj.org for updates on the situation.

“Those who are not yet registered are also being encouraged to register themselves with the embassy online.”

He said for information and assistance, the following numbers can be contacted: Mr Zulfiqar Ali, Third Secretary, Embassy of Pakistan, Beijing, +8618501322992, Mr Muhammad Junaid, Third Secretary,+8615652889195.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2020

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