Govt Planning to Extend Khunjerab Pass Closure After Coronavirus Outbreak

Fearing transmission of the Coronavirus into the country, the Gilgit Baltistan (GB) government has demanded to extend the closure of the Pakistan-China border at Khunjerab Pass.

According to reports, the GB Home Department has officially requested the federal government to delay the border opening for an indefinite time. Each year, the Pakistan-China border remains shut from 1st December 1st April due to extreme weather.

On 22nd January, the Chinese Foreign Ministry requested the federal government to partially open Khunjerab Pass from 2-8 February as 200 Chinese containers were stuck because they could not reach the border crossing before December 1st.

GB health department has ordered the Director health and DHO of Hunza to depute staff, medicine, and an ambulance at the pass for checking people entering Pakistan from China in case the request for border closure gets rejected.

Pakistani health authorities have undertaken numerous initiatives in light of rising Coronavirus cases in China.

The Ministry of Health has set up monitoring systems and quarantine areas at major airports and seaports. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has also set up thermal body scanners at airports at Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar as a precautionary measure.

Coronavirus, which has been named 2019-nCoV, first emerged on December 31st in a seafood market in Wuhan, China. So far, it has killed 80 people in China and infected another 2000. Coronavirus has already spread to Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and the United States.