Movement of Chinese working at Saindak project restricted

Updated 02 Feb 2020

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Drivers who work for a Pakistan-based Chinese company look on as they wear protective facemasks before their temperature's check in Islamabad on January 30, after instructions from Pakistani authorities to take preventive measures against the coronavirus. — AFP/File
Drivers who work for a Pakistan-based Chinese company look on as they wear protective facemasks before their temperature's check in Islamabad on January 30, after instructions from Pakistani authorities to take preventive measures against the coronavirus. — AFP/File

QUETTA: A Chinese company working at Saindak Copper-cum-Gold Project restricted the movement of Chinese employees to the project site after the outbreak of coronavirus in their home country.

A senior official of the MRDL posted at Saindak confirmed the decision and said that Chinese employees, including engineers, technicians, workers and other staff had been asked not to leave for Beijing at least for two weeks.

At present 280 Chinese are working in Saindak. “Chinese employees cannot go out of the Saindak project site till further orders,” said Mr Wang, Assistant Vice President of MRDL.

Mr Wang, who is working as director administration at the Saindak project, said the same restriction had been imposed on the company’s employees who were in Beijing. “Chinese employees are also not allowed to come to Pakistan for the next two weeks,” he told Dawn.

He said that 1,800 Pakistanis were also working at the Saindak project. Mr Wang said the Chinese doctors had conducted screening of all Chinese and Pakistani employees, but none of them was found infected with coronavirus.

He said Pakistani employees were exempted from the restrictions imposed on the Chinese workers. “There is no sign of the virus in the area,” he said, adding that his company and Chinese doctors were taking care of all employees working at the Saindak project.

Meanwhile, three Chinese engineers working at Gwadar port, who had returned from Beijing last week, have been declared clear from coronavirus.

“Screening of three Chinese engineers had been completed,” officials of the Balochistan health department said on Saturday adding that the three Chinese engineers were kept separate from other Chinese employees working at the port.

They said that screening centres had established in border towns of Chaman, Chagai and Taftan. In the border areas, people coming to Pakistan are being screened.

The health department officials said that an isolation ward had been set up at Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital in Quetta.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2020