Pakistan locks down province, bans international flights as coronavirus spreads
Most of those found to be infected are Shiite pilgrims from Sindh who returned from visiting shrines in neighboring Iran, where the virus has already killed more than 1,400 people. Most reentered Pakistan via a single border crossing in Baluchistan province. A similar problem is affecting next-door Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of refugees have recently flooded back from Iran.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, facing public panic, has stopped short of declaring a nationwide lockdown but has asked all citizens to self-quarantine for two weeks. This past week, Khan came under strong criticism after playing down the threat in a nationwide address. He said people should not “run to hospitals” to get tested and that 90 percent of those testing positive would “recover easily.”
On Friday, with several hundred new cases reported, Khan told a group of TV anchors that he hoped the coming of hot and dry weather would help mitigate the outbreak. He urged people to stay at home but remain calm, saying that “panicking is more dangerous for us …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]