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Coronavirus outbreak: Five Pakistan districts on high alert

Web Report/Islamabad
Filed on February 3, 2020
coronavirus, pakistan on alert, evacuation of pakistanis, khyber pakhtunkhwa, china, wuhan

(Reuters)

Many Chinese workers in the country for CPEC projects.

The Pakistan government ramped up its efforts against the deadly coronavirus although no confirmed case has been registered so far.

In the aftermath of the 2019-nCoV that has wreaked havoc in Wuhan, China, where it originated, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government also declared its five northern districts "most sensitive". The districts of Kohistan, Shangla, Battagram, Mansehra and Abbottabad have been put on high alert.

Also read: Pakistan president quotes Hadith over evacuation criticism

"We are on high alert due to the movement of Chinese citizens in the region. We're monitoring the situation and are coordinating with the federal and provincial governments," Altaf Hussain, deputy commissioner of Battagram, was quoted as saying in The Express Tribune.
Hussain said around 112 Chinese nationals, including engineers, technical staff and labourers, are working on a CPEC [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor] project in Battagram alone. "Of them, 20 have gone home to celebrate the Chinese New Year festival with their families in China," he added.

While, Dr Gul Shehzad Khan, district health officer (DHO) Battagram, said four centres have been set up in different parts of the district to ensure strict scanning and monitoring. "We have also established isolation wards as a precautionary measure where health staff is available on an emergency basis. So far, there has been no confirmed case in the district," Dr Khan added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's top health aide Dr Zafar Mirza said two centres, one at Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi and Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Lahore, have been set up for diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus patients.



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