Coronavirus outbreak seems like an unstoppable epidemic that is slowly spreading to the whole world. The close neighbors of China are now concerned about the movement across the border. Talking of which, Pakistan is monitoring its border with Iran and has kept nearly 200 people under quarantine near the border area.
This announcement about quarantine has been received after Pakistan has closed the border with its neighbor. On the other side, another neighbor of these two and China, Afghanistan has confirmed its first case of coronavirus.
This big news was stated when international media reported numerous positive cases and deaths by the coronavirus in Iran that are unreported and uncovered by the local media. Although Iranian authorities have completely denied these allegations it has alerted its neighbors to monitor the border movements.
Pakistan’s southwestern province, Balochistan was the first to put people into quarantine fast. These 200 people under quarantine are the Shiite Muslim pilgrims that returned from Iran and are suspected to carry the virus into Pakistan.
Najeebullah Qambrani is the Assistant Commissioner of Taftan border crossing. He shared that there are currently 250 quarantined people. He says;
“We have decided not to take a chance and keep all of them under observation for the next 15 days.”
Mudassir Malik, health secretary of Balochistan has also confirmed of establishing a quarantine that is currently estimating 200 and 250 people in it. He further shared that there were nearly 7000 pilgrims only in this month that have returned to Pakistan from Iran. All of them are under suspicion for carrying the virus which is why it is necessary to monitor them.
Pakistan shares a long border with Afghanistan than with Iran. This border is already a problem for being used in criminal activities i.e. drug supplies, smuggling, and even human trafficking. The easy movement across this border is causing fear in people of both countries for the potential coronavirus cases.
China and Pakistan share a border together as well as Pakistan and Iran share a border too. Pakistan being a neighbor to all these countries has another burden to balance that is an insufficient healthcare system. It makes the health risk for the local communities even higher, emphasizing this border closure as a positive step by the government.
Balochistan is highly likely to suffer from an uncontrollable public health crisis as that of coronavirus outbreak. It is unprepared to handle anything like this and neglect from the central government would make it worse.
Currently, coronavirus has taken more than 2500 lives in China and has spread to 25 countries. The confirmed cases are being reported in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, adding to its terror. So far, there is no treatment, medicine or vaccine developed to control it. Despite making the big announcements, no such development has been made. WHO and the Chinese government are working together to control the coronavirus outbreak but there is no positive thing that could reflect a controlled situation.