ISLAMABAD: In order to block possible transmission of a novel coronavirus in the country from Iran where a number of cases of the deadly disease have surfaced, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza Saturday said well-trained staff are present at the Taftan and other border crossings to screen all passengers crossing over into Pakistan.
He in a statement said all passengers are being screened before their entry into the country.
He added all recommendations under the International Health Regulations (IHR) are being implemented in letter and spirit.
Dr Zafar Mirza said thus far no case of the deadly virus has come to light in the country.
The special assistant said the government stands ready to deal with any eventuality.
It is to mention here that hundreds of people cross the border between Pakistan and Iran via Taftan crossing on a daily basis.
However, according to sources, there was no staff at this border crossing to screen people for the virus.
Iranian health authorities have reported five deaths in the country by the coronavirus outbreak that began from China’s Wuhan city. A further 18 people have been tested positive for the virus in Iran.
The outbreak in Iran began in the city of Qom, an often-visited religious destination. The health ministry official Minou Mohrez warned it had since spread to several cities, including the capital, Tehran, official IRNA news agency said.
The Central Health Establishment facing shortage of the staff to monitor the movement as its staff is required to be deployed at the airport and the border crossing.
The staff is being recruited for deployment at Taftan and Torkham borders, according to sources. The personnel will be deployed after completion of the recruitment process, sources at the Ministry of Health said.
According to sources, the staff from federal hospitals have been posted at the Islamabad airport.