QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani said on Thursday that his government had decided to seek assistance from national and international donors to help poor and needy people cope with the situation created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Talking to reporters during his visit to the Bolan Medical College (BMC) Hospital Complex, he said assistance received from some donors would be disbursed among deserving families according to a formula of the National Disaster Management Authority.
Mr Alyani warned that next two to three weeks would be very difficult as the number of coronavirus cases across the country were increasing.
He said the government was well aware of difficulties being faced by daily wage workers and other needy people caused by the lockdown imposed in the province to fight Covid-19.
The chief minister said his government was working on a comprehensive plan to ensure supply of ration and other financial assistance to deserving people. “Ration will be supplied to those who have been rendered jobless and could not earn a livelihood for their families in this difficult time.”
In reply to a question, he said 19 people had recovered from coronavirus in Balochistan, while more patients who were under treatment in isolation centres would be able to go home as they were recovering swiftly.
Mr Alyani said the Bolan Medical College Hospital Complex had a capacity to keep 800 to 1,000 people in quarantine and the government would use the complex as a quarantine centre, if needed.
He said Balochistan had never experienced isolation or quarantine-like situation in past.
In reply to another, question, the chief minister said it was estimated that 6,000 to 8,000 Pakistani pilgrims were still in Iran and they would return to the country via Taftan border.
Mr Alyani, accompanied by Deputy Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail and Provincial Minister Mir Asadullah Baloch, visited the isolation facility at BMC Hospital where Director General of Health Balochistan Dr Saleem Abro briefed the chief minister on facilities available in the hospital.
The chief minister also visited the cancer ward of BMC Hospital and inquired after the health of patients.
He assured the doctors and other medical staff who were fighting against the deadly coronavirus that the government was taking all steps for their safety.
“Safety kits are being provided to doctors and paramedical staff serving in isolation wards and other such places,” he said.
Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2020