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Coronavirus: PoK in virtual lockdown

Coronavirus: PoK in virtual lockdown

Muzaffarabad: Pakistan occupied Kashmir government has imposed a ban on the arrival of tourists into the region till March 31 as a precautionary measure to deal with the threat of novel coronavirus in the region lacking effective medical services.

In addition, the region has closed all educational institutions, including schools, colleges, medical colleges, technical and vocational institutions, universities — government and private, Pakistan Today reported.

The pandemic sets alarm bells ringing among the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, given that the health care of the region is already in shambles and new disease of such magnitude can trigger the destruction of uncounted proportions.

The region reported its first case of coronavirus on Wednesday, involving a 45-year-old man who arrived in Mirpur from the Taftan border.

The outbreak of the disease in China earlier this year had triggered a series of protests in the PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, with demonstrators demanding the sealing of Khunjareb pass.

China uses Khunjareb pass, which is a part of its flagship China Pakistan Economic Corridor project, for the supply of its businesses and the expansion of its trade in the world.

Islamabad initially did not feel the need to close the borders, even when China had already reported thousands of cases of coronavirus, and knowing that the Chinese workers were employed the CPEC projects in Gilgit Baltistan.

Ironically, PoK “President” Sardar Masood Khan has urged India to allow international health organisations and medical experts’ entry into Jammu and Kashmir to help diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients.

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