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Balochistan govt declares emergency in border areas after Iran virus deaths

QUETTA: The spread of a novel coronavirus in Iran that reported a fifth death today has posed a threat of transmission of the deadly disease into Pakistan, forcing the Balochistan government to declare a health emergency in border areas.

A spokesperson for the Balochistan government said an emergency centre has been set up at Taftan border crossing with Iran with doctors posted to screen Zaireen coming from the neighbouring country.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza to discuss measures to deal with the virus threat.

In a tweet, the chief minister said the government has been taking all precautionary measures from day one to prevent the epidemic from spilling into the province. He said a dedicated cell has been set up with vigilant teams to monitor the situation.

Read More: More coronavirus cases in Iran’s Qom after two deaths

Earlier today, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza said well-trained staff are present at the Taftan and other border crossings to screen all passengers crossing over into Pakistan from the neighbouring countries.

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.

Read More: Govt says passengers being screened at border crossing with Iran

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.



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