Delayed installation of laboratory at Taftan main reason behind COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan

NIH provided laboratory after 10 days of border's closure

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QV Investigation

QUETTA: The laboratory to conduct COVID-19 tests at Pak-Iran border Taftan was installed with more than 10 days delay. The health officials deployed at Pak-Iran border Taftan were unable to conduct COVID-19 tests and diagnosis on the spot in absence of laboratory.

Initially, the poorly equipped health officials conducted screening and tests at Pak-Iran border Taftan. No modern equipment including a laboratory were installed at the beginning to halt the deadly virus spread.

Apart from this, some pilgrims also managed to flee from quarantine centers at Pak-Iran border Taftan. A driver shifted four pilgrims including two children to a government run hospital in Quetta, breaking all barriers. The driver’s video went viral on social media after talking to Quetta-based journalists the other day.

“Our priority is to halt the spread of virus”, Liaquat Shahwnai, the Spokesman government of Balochistan said. He said the provincial government was committed  to send all pilgrims to their home provinces after completion of quarantine period.

Pakistan had closed its border with Iran on February 23rd this year and the laboratory was installed after more than 10 days, a well-placed officer in the Balochistan health department told Quetta Voice. The laboratory was provided by National Institute of  Health (NIH) to conduct tests of novel corona virus patients at the bordering town with Iran, he said requesting anonymity.

Pak-Iran border at Taftan temporarily closed

The health officials used to send samples of suspected patients of COVID-19 to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad initially, he informed. However, after request by the Balochistan government, the NIH provided laboratory to conduct tests at Taftan.

So far, 94 cases of novel corona virus have been confirmed in Pakistan. Most of the cases were confirmed in Sindh province. Those tested positive for the deadly virus had travel history to Iran and then entering into Pakistan at Taftan border.

Sindh’s Information adviser, Barrister Murtaza Wahab has also confirmed fresh cases and said that the patients had travel history from Taftan to Sindh.

 

 

 

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