GB to open border for Chinese medical supplies

Supplies include three ventilators, 200,000 face masks among other things

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan-China border will be opened on March 27 for one day after Beijing decided to donate medical equipment to the Gilgit-Baltistan government on the latter’s request for medical supplies to combat the deadly disease.

According to a letter sent by the Chinese embassy, the Xinjiang governor would like to donate a batch of medical materials, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and five ventilators, to the region. The batch further includes 200,000 ordinary face masks, 2,000 N-95 face masks, 2,000 testing kits, and 2,000 medical protective clothes.

“The materials are ready to be delivered to GB through Khunjerab Pass at 9:00 am (Pakistan time) on March 27. Therefore it is requested to temporarily open the [border on] same date. In this regard, it is also highly recommended that the Pakistani side should agree and make due preparation before the date so that all materials could enter Pakistan smoothly,” the letter said.

According to officials in Gilgit, the region, which is witnessing the highest rate of corona cases (over 80) in the country if the rate is compared with its population, has only two to three ventilators in Gilgit besides shortage of other medical materials needed to deal with the virus.

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Earlier this month, the Gilgit-Baltistan government had announced to keep the Khunjerab pass closed for an indefinite period over coronavirus threats. All the concerned authorities had agreed to keep the border closed till the pandemic was controlled in China and Pakistan.

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Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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