Pakistan to allow gradual return of pilgrims from Iran: Dr Zafar
Pakistan has decided to allow the gradual return of Pakistani Zaireen (pilgrims) from neighbouring Iran, which has emerged as the regional hotbed of novel coronavirus with a death toll only second to the most affected country - China.
The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza on Friday said in a Twitter statement that government will allow Pakistani pilgrims to return in batches after their full health screening.
He said that he visited the Taftan-Zahdan border and reviewed the situation. The point of entry is being strengthened [for screening and qurantine], he added.
226/ At Taftan-Zahdan border. Reviewed the situation and now we have a plan! Over next few days we will gradually allow Pakistani Zaireens returning from Iran in batches after full health screening. Point of entry is being strengthened. Thanks to all for the hard work! pic.twitter.com/ZhaqwX0s6Y— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) February 28, 2020
In another tweet, Dr Zafar said the two patients in Pakistan that were confirmed to have contacted coronavirus are stable and improving.
“Contacts traced until now and tested are all negative, Alhamdililah,” the SAPM wrote.
224/ Both patients of #COVIDー19 are stable and improving. Contacts traced until now and tested are all negative, Alhamdililah— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) February 27, 2020
Pakistan had closed its border with Iran days ago in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in Qom city of Iran.
On Saturday, the authorities confimed that two people, one in Sindh and the other in the federal area who had returned from Iran days ago, have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Pakistan remains on high alert over the virus threat. Beside taking other measures, schools have been shut in Balochistan and Sindh provinces.
Because of the virus fears, many people in the country are seen wearing masks.
Unfortunately, masks which were initially being sold for at much-inflated prices have almost vanished completely for the markets.
Market sources cited two major reasons for this. One, they said, after the situation worsened in China, the Chinse suppliers bought back stocks from Pakistan markets by offering profit.
Two, the suppliers and retailers, both have stopped selling masks for getting even more profit from desperate consumers.