Pakistan-China border at Khunjerab Pass closure: GB govt delays opening amid coronavirus threat

Khunjerab Pass

GILGIT: The government of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) on Thursday delayed its decision of opening the Pakistan-China border at Khunjerab Pass as part of precautionary measures to stop coronavirus’s possible entry into Pakistan from China.

The decision comes after the government of Gilgit-Baltistan expressed fears about the spread of coronavirus through Khunjerab Pass.

The spokesperson of the GB government in his statement said that the recommendation to open the Khunjerab pass in the mid of April has been tabled.

The GB home department had requested the federal government to delay the opening of Khunjerab Pass, the highest border crossing point between Pakistan and China.

Each year, the Pakistan-China border remains shut from 1st December 1st April due to extreme weather.

Earlier 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.

Earlier, the health department of GB had recommended deployment of medical staff to the border to check the disease and isolate patients and refer them for treatment.

Thermal scanners and other equipment, including gloves, surgical masks, disposable garments and long aprons as well as ambulances, would be available at the border.

The Chinese health authorities have confirmed deaths of at least 170 people due to coronavirus and 7,711 confirmed cases of infection as, mostly in Hubei province where the death toll rose by 37 to 162.

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