About 2,000 more people expected from Iran soon

Published March 22, 2020
Workers of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Balochistan arrive to spray disinfectant at a quarantine camp prepared for people returning from Iran to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the outskirts of Quetta on March 9. — AFP
Workers of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Balochistan arrive to spray disinfectant at a quarantine camp prepared for people returning from Iran to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the outskirts of Quetta on March 9. — AFP

QUETTA: Balochistan chief secretary retired Captain Fazeel Asghar has said that around 2,000 are expected to return from Iran through Taftan border in a few days.

Briefing journalists on Saturday after presiding over a meeting of the core committee, he said over 500 people had been quarantined in Taftan.

The chief secretary said the number of coronavirus patients in Balochistan had reached 104.

He said all the infected people had been kept in isolation wards established in Sheikh Zayed and Fatima Jinnah Chest hospitals.

The Balochistan government has already declared Sheikh Zayed Hospital an isolation hospital for treatment of coronavirus victims.

Official says Balochistan government wants the borders to remain closed

Mr Asghar said work to set up an emergency health city having a capacity of 2,000 people on 50 acres of land had been started in Quetta.

He said the National Dis­aster Management Autho­rity would provide 600 containers equipped with all residential facilities for Taftan and 300 for Chaman.

The chief secretary said that there was no lockdown in Balochistan, only inter-province and inter-city transport had been suspended and shopping malls and markets had been closed.

He advised people to take precautionary measures and avoid meeting with other people for 15 days. “Sometimes, the symptoms of coronavirus come even after a month,” he added.

“We are buying appliances and medicines and building a one-room set having a bed and a bathroom for the patients,” he said.

“At present, we have the facility to treat over 450 patients, but we also buying more equipment,” he said, adding that at present quarantine centres were not being set up in schools and colleges.

Quarantine centres had been set up in the Rural Development Authority, Pakistan Council of Scientific Research and Taftan, he said.

Mr Asghar said the provincial government wanted that the borders should remain closed, but it was a federal subject.

He requested people not to go to crowded places and avoid using public transport. “The only way to avoid the virus is to remain at homes, China has similarly controlled the virus,” he said.

Provincial ministers Zahoor Buledi and Zamrak Khan Piralizai, Balochistan government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani and Coordinator to the Chief Minister Mir Umair Mohammad Hasni were also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2020

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