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COVID-19: PoK and Gilgit Baltistan asks for travel ban from Pakistan

ANI  |  Asia 

Fearing an outbreak of COVID-19 in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan, the local authorities and residents have demanded strict restrictions for any traffic movement from Pakistan into the region.

Demands have been raised after seeing the rising number of positive Coronavirus cases in all provinces of Pakistan and attempts by Pakistan Army to bring them at quarantine centres set up in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan.

Sources reveal that hundreds of people got stuck at Kohala border of PoK and Punjab on Thursday after the restrictions imposed by the local authorities.

In a letter written to Commissioner, Mirpur division, the locals have raised the issue of Coronavirus positive patients from Gujrat and Jhelum cities of Punjab province to be brought into PoK.

The letter said, "It has been observed that people from Gujrat and Jhelum districts of Punjab are coming to Bhimber town of PoK. It is requested that a complete entry ban be imposed from Pakistan to PoK".

Recently, there were massive protests by locals in Mirpur city of PoK after the Pakistan Army start occupying plazas (mansions) and private hospitals to convert them into Quarantine centres for COVID-19 patients from Punjab and other provinces.

Junaid Qureshi, a Kashmiri Researcher told ANI: "From East to West, the is fighting this pandemic by social-distancing, lockdowns, research for medicines and vaccines and economic packages and stimuli for its citizens, and at the same time, Pakistan is disposing of its citizens in its colony, which puts the very underdeveloped region of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the people living there at great risk of facing catastrophic health and economic consequences".

The situation is turning grim in Gilgit Baltistan where a total of 84 positive COVID-19 patients sparked fear among the locals.

The occupied region is affected by the presence of a large number of Chinese, who are engaged in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Pakistan jumped to 1,102 Thursday morning after new cases were reported in Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In Punjab province, the number of positive cases stands at 323.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 27 2020. 07:42 IST