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Life at Taftan quarantine: “Held like prisoners,” the pilgrims recount

Life at Taftan quarantine: “Held like prisoners,” the pilgrims recount

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Balochistan has risen to 96. In Quetta alone, 56 people tested positive in a single day on March 19. The patients were first kept in isolation at the Taftan border, between Balochistan and Iran, and then shifted to the quarantine center in Mian Ghundi in southwest Quetta.

Since last month, when the pandemic was first reported in Iran, 6,810 Pakistani pilgrims crossed the Pak-Iran border. As per the data of Balochistan’s health department, these people, after being kept at the border camps briefly, were sent to their hometowns on February 28. In a report done by Geo news, doctors told the media outlet that,

Everyone is being held like prisoners.

Appalling conditions at the camp

Eye-witnesses further detail the appalling conditions in which patients are being kept. “We are all being housed together in a large hall of an official building, known as the ‘Pakistan House Taftan’,” said Akbar Ali, a pilgrim who has just returned from Iran, “The center is hot, dusty and without basic facilities.”

Sindh administration criticises the condition of the camp, Balochistan CM replies

Sindh’s minister for education and labor slammed the Balochistan’s administration for poor arrangements at the border. Responding to the allegation, Jam Kamal Khan, the chief minister of Balochistan, said in a tweet that his government was accommodating, medically assisting and facilitating all those arriving into the province, without help from other provinces.

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