ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday paid a visit to an isolation centre in Islamabad, where he was briefed about the arrangements by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal.
The premier also performed the groundbreaking of isolation hospital and infectious diseases treatment centre. Subsequently, General Afzal briefed gave him a briefing on the facility.
During his time there, the prime minister offered a special prayer for the welfare of the country.
Yesterday, the premier, while addressing a meeting of the parliamentary leaders of various political parties through video-link, called for unity among all segments of the society, including the political parties, to fight and win the war against coronavirus as a nation.
“The government alone cannot fight and win this war against coronavirus. We can win this war together as a nation,” Imran said during his online speech, as he briefed the parliamentary leaders about the measures taken by the government since the outbreak of coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year, and particularly after the arrival of pilgrims from Iran via Taftan border.
Pakistan’s coronavirus toll rose to 1,078 on Thursday as Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Islamabad reported new cases despite provincial and partial lockdowns to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The majority of Pakistan’s cases were imported from Iran – which is badly hit by the virus with some 2077 deaths – through the Taftan border crossing. So far, Pakistan has reported eight deaths. The latest victim was a woman from Rawalpindi who succumbed to the disease yesterday.
On Wednesday, the prime minister gave an overview of the government’s response against COVID-19, including the establishment of a quarantine centre and a make-shift screening facility at Taftan, a remote area located 700 kilometers from Quetta.
Imran said that since the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have governments in GB and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Sindh respectively, therefore, it is vital for all parties to sit together to take effective decisions against COVID-19.
He said that the government’s decision not to bring its students back from Wuhan, despite the pressure from parents and media, went well in terms of checking the transmission of coronavirus from China to Pakistan.
“However, after the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran, they did not have the capacity like that of China to tackle COVID-19, Pakistani pilgrims had to travel back to Pakistan through the Taftan border,” he said.