Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

Courts to remain closed till April 5 in Gilgit-Baltistan

At least three COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the mountainous region

​ Our Correspondent March 15, 2020
ISLAMABAD: In the wake of a surge in novel coronavirus cases in the country, Gilgit-Baltistan has temporarily suspended court proceedings.

A circular dated March 14 stated that the chief and subordinate courts will remain closed from March 16 to April 5 on orders of the Chief Judge.

At least three COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the mountainous region. An isolation ward has been set up at the District Headquarters Hospital for the coronavirus patients.

It may be noted here that Gilgit-Baltistan does not have testing facilities yet. The blood samples are sent to Lahore and Islamabad for COVID-19 tests.

Pakistan confirmed its 34th case on Sunday with a new case emerging in Islamabad.

Balochistan now has a total of 10 confirmed cases while Islamabad has four. Sindh confirmed its second locally transmitted case, taking the tally to 17.

New COVID-19 case in Islamabad swells Pakistan's tally to 34

Action plan to contain outbreak

On Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) to cobble a unified approach to contain the outbreak.

The huddle was attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed provincial chief ministers, top advisors and cabinet members.

It was decided to close borders with Iran and Afghanistan, allow only three airports – Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore – to operate international flights in limited numbers while other airports will see domestic flights, and ban public gatherings.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been tasked to coordinate with provincial governments and lead the fight against novel coronavirus. It was also decided to close all educational institutions until April 5.

In a first, the Pakistan Day parade on March 23 have also been cancelled.


(With additional input from Shabbir Mir.)


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