According to some news reports, the maximum number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pakistan can be traced back to pilgrims coming from Iran.
Pakistan shares a 960 km border with Iran at Taftan in Balochistan province. The government of Balochistan has set a quarantine camp to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
But the visuals coming in from the quarantine camp at Taftan border are portraying extremely hazardous conditions in which the pilgrims are staying.
The videos and images doing rounds on social media show hundreds of people being kept in a single room and sleeping on dirty floors with no health protocols being followed.
Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had issued comprehensive guidelines for the world to set-up quarantine camps.
But it seems, the authorities in Pakistan haven’t had the chance to review those guidelines.
About 4,600 people are currently being held at Taftan as stated by the officials. Around 1,800 others have been transferred to their home districts for a further two-week quarantine.
Videos circulating online reveal that people are sleeping on floors and in tents set-up in dirty courtyards.
The quarantine center lacks basic facilities like running water or flushable toilets, with detainees only able to wash every few days.
The pilgrims staying at this facility complain that the administration has failed to facilitate them properly.
It is being reported that people staying at the Taftan border are not even r receiving proper food to eat.
A witness while talking to Al Jazeera said, “The environment here is so filthy that if a healthy person stays here for a while they will get coronavirus.”
Most cases reported in Pakistan link back to pilgrims coming from Iran. But no tests are being conducted at the Taftan border quarantine camp.
Not just that, but the quarantine camps in Dera Ghazi Khan where these pilgrims are being transferred are in worst condition.
People are afraid that if the situation remains the way it is, the virus will spread rapidly in Punjab too.
The lack of basic attention to detail on the part of the government is harrowing.
True, that Pakistan is a third world country with very limited resources at hand and is currently struggling against a crippling economy.
However, even then, the very least that one would expect from the government is to ensure SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Forcing the healthy to mingle with those who might have contracted the coronavirus is a recipe for disaster that we, as a third world nation would not be able to overcome.
If the authorities still don’t pay any heed to international standards for quarantine facilities and lag in conducting timely tests, they will put the entire country at risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus.
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