COVID-19 spread in Pakistan could impact regional security
New Delhi, Mar 20: India would face an immense challenge along the Line of Control, with the number of coronavirus cases increasing in Pakistan.
The number of cases in Pakistan rose following the return of a large number of people from Iran. Nearly 5,000 of them returned to Lahore from a pilgrimage in Iran and this could have led to the spread of the virus.
When these pilgrims returned, they were held at the Taftan border crossing in Balochistan. However the authorities did not strictly enforce the quarantine as a result of which the number of cases rose. In Pakistan there have been two deaths and 301 positive cases of coronavirus reported so far.
With the spread now being rapid, experts in Pakistan have said that the entire country should be quarantined. Further Pakistan has also sealed its borders with both Afghanistan and Iran. Schools and colleges have also been closed till the end of this month. Indian agencies say that if the problem is not brought under check, it could pose a major issue in terms of regional security and add to the woes along the Line of Control.
Pakistan is currently battling the problem despite shortage of staff and equipment. The hospital staff have threatened to stop work if these supplies are not provided at the earliest.
Pakistan has also imposed prohibitory orders to contain the spread. The Punjab government has also earmarked three hospitals for coronavirus patients. Around 1,621 have been tested so far.