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March 22, 2020

7,000 pilgrims still stranded at Taftan border, Iran: minister

National

March 22, 2020

MULTAN: Punjab Minister for Energy Dr Akhtar Malik on Saturday briefed the journalists about safety and protective measures being adopted in quarantine centre here.

The minister said that coronavirus was a global issue, adding that the Punjab government had made a comprehensive strategy in January. The Punjab government had decided to compensate the families of coronavirus suspects staying at Multan quarantine centre, he informed. The financial aid would be delivered to their family members at home, he said. The government was responsible for looking after their families and their care would be ensured at all levels, he added.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had established a special fund in this regard, he told.The financial aid would be dropped at coronavirus suspects’ doorsteps, he maintained. He appealed to the philanthropists to contribute to the financial aid fund.

The officials and workers serving at Multan quarantine centre would be rewarded with salaries and allowances, he said. They were real heroes of the nation as they were serving there by distancing their families, he said.

The minister revealed that at least 7,000 Pakistani pilgrims were still stranded at Taftan Border and Iran. The numbers of coronavirus suspects had increased from the available capacity of hospitals, he added. Iran was facing tough time due to international sanctions and the country was passing through a serious financial crisis, he continued.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had donated Rs 1 billion to the Balochistan government, he disclosed. The Punjab government had also established quarantine centres in Bahawalpur and Rahimyar Khan, he informed. The minister said that all the people should receive corona suspects with open arms and combating with the pandemic by setting aside regional prejudices. The Multan quarantine centre was the country's biggest health facility where state-of-the-art facilities were bing provided, he told.

All the suspects would remain at the quarantine centre for the next 14 days, he maintained. He said that the corona symptoms appear after five days of attack and the suspects would be tested after appearing symptoms. The Punjab chief minister had ordered the procurement of 1,000 ventilators, he added.

He said that normal people had no need to wear masks, but people with cough, flue and fever should wear masks. The citizens must confine them at their homes and avoid attending ceremonies, he said. Dr Akhtar Malik said social alienation can reduce 99pc possibilities of coronavirus attack.

Deputy Commissioner Amir Khattak said that 600 employees were performing duties at the quarantine centre in one shift. The masses should discourage those sharing fake information and videos on social media, he appealed.

The quarantine centre consists of 3,000 rooms but fakes videos were viral which were not allotted to any suspect, he said. Meanwhile, the Waste Management Company workers conducted an operation at the quarantine centre to clean it and all the blocks, roads and other areas were washed.