QUETTA: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has dispatched 900 containers to Balochistan for keeping pilgrims returning from Iran in quarantine for 14 days.
A meeting presided over by Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani was informed on Thursday that the containers have attached bathrooms.
Chief Secretary retired Capt Fazeel Asghar told the meeting that the containers would reach Balochistan in a couple of days.
“Out of 900 containers, 600 would be sent to the border town of Chaman, while 300 are for Quetta,” he said.
The meeting discussed various issues related to precautionary measures and treatment of people infected by coronavirus.
It decided to create awareness about coronavirus in collaboration with scholars and political interlocutors.
The meeting asked all divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners, district health officers, senior superintendents of police and tehsildars to conduct public awareness campaigns in their areas for three days by distributing pamphlets about taking precautionary measures. Polio workers and lady health vaccinators will visit homes as part of the awareness campaign.
A representative of the World Health Organisation assured the meeting to establish a surveillance system across the province to help in identifying coronavirus-affected people.
He said his organisation would also set up an epidemic control centre for treatment of coronavirus victims immediately.
The meeting decided that emergency measures would be taken to improve the treatment facilities and isolation centres under the advice and guidance of experts.
It also decided to set up a control room and media centre through which ministers and specialists will discuss government actions regarding coronavirus.
The meeting reviewed data on the anticipated situation in the event of closure of trade centres and granting of packages to support daily-wage workers.
The meeting decided that the quarantine centres in the border areas adjacent to Iran and Afghanistan would have essential facilities, including lodging, testing facility and safety kits.
The chief minister directed the authorities concerned to ensure all necessary protocols and to construct maximum number of bathrooms in quarantine established in Chaman.
He ordered strict supervision of transport on international and inter-provincial borders for which the department of home and inter-provincial affairs urgently asked the deputy commissioners to comply with these orders.
Mr Alyani said his government had taken all possible measures for providing medical, residential and other facilities for pilgrims.
“It is not an easy task to screen and quarantine pilgrims with limited resources in remote and backward areas like Taftan,” he said.
Commenting on lack of facilities in Taftan, the chief minister said for 20 days no province offered to provide transport and other facilities.
“It became possible with the efforts of my government that the data of all pilgrims coming from Taftan is available, which can help other provinces,” he added.
Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2020