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Saturday Feb 29 2020
Web Desk

Balochistan health officials declare 252 pilgrims free of coronavirus

Web Desk
Photo: File

Balochistan's health officials on Saturday declared 252 pilgrims from Iran free from coronavirus after putting them under quarantine for 15 days.

According to Levies officials, the pilgrims were cleared after they were screened by the health officials.

Meanwhile, District Health Officer Abdul Ghani said the new pilgrims which arrived last night have been shifted to Pakistan House, adding that their screening will be conducted after 48 hours.

Also read: Pakistan expects trade loss due to coronavirus, confirms commerce adviser

Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Friday said the government now has a plan to deal with the situation of pilgrims coming to Pakistan from Iran — which has been hit with the coronavirus epidemic.

Dr Mirza said he has reviewed the situation at the Taftan-Zahedan border and that the government would gradually allow the pilgrims from Iran in batches after full health screening. 

Patients in Quetta cleared

Three patients that had approached a hospital in Quetta after showing symptoms of the virus have been declared clear of the disease, said health officials of the province.

Fatima Jinnah Hospital’s Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Noorullah shared that the patients had returned from Iran and approached the hospital after complaining of headaches, flu and high temperature.

“The patients were examined in detail but symptoms of coronavirus were not found in them and have been sent home," said the official.

Trade remains suspended

Meanwhile trade activities remained suspended for a seventh straight day at the Pakistan-Iran border, custom officials said. Officials added that due to the border closure, businesses have been affected in the city of Taftan and the traders and labourers have left the city due to this.

It was also reported that the border closure has resulted in many Pakistani traders being stuck on the Iranian side of the border which has become a source of worry for their families.

Meanwhile, the only government-run bank in Taftan has also been closed on the directives of the State Bank of Pakistan.

Also read: Coronavirus: President Alvi says those having flu symptoms ‘can offer Friday prayers at home’

Earlier this week, Pakistan reported its first two cases of coronavirus. The first case was reported from Karachi, in a 22-year-old who had recently returned from Iran.

The 22-year-old's condition had reportedly started to deteriorate on February 18 and he underwent a hijama — or cupping therapy — at a local health centre in the Iranian city of Mashhad. After that, he suffered from a headache.

He had arrived in Karachi on February 20, indicating that there were chances that the thermal screening machines at the airports for those entering the country may not have worked after all.

The other coronavirus patient was a resident of Islamabad who had been admitted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) where he was being treated, his condition being stable and improving.