Over 2,000 students to be facilitated to travel from Karachi to GB

Gilgit-Baltistan cabinet approved food, e-learning packages, sets up a body on construction sector operation; Rs50,000 fine for hiding coronavirus patient


Herald Report

GILGIT/Islamabad: The Gilgit-Baltistan government has requested Sindh authorities to facilitate hundreds of students and other people to travel from Karachi to their native mountain region.

The Gilgit-Baltistan cabinet on Monday gave its nod to the proposal to bring back the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan from other parts of the country, sources told The High Asia Herald.

Thousands of people mostly students and workers families who had gone to Karachi for medical purposes are stuck up in the port city of Karachi since the lockdown clamped last month.

The cabinet which met in Gilgit with Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman in the chair also decided to arrange transportation to he stranded people and bear the cost of corona tests as required by the Sindh government, the sources added.

Meanwhile, the GB home department through a letter has requested to the Sindh government to facilitate the students and others who intend to travel to their region.

The letter, a copy of which is with the Herald, said that it had developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to facilitate the stranded students in a safe and secure manner.

Over 2,500 students and other people, according to the letter, have approached for NOC to travel from Karachi to GB as they have been facing hardships in getting food and accommodation due to closure of hostels in the southern port city.

The GB government has also requested Sindh’s health authorities to conduct tests for COVID-19 on those who intend to travel to GB, the letter read.

It has offered to bear expenses of COVID-19 tests in case Sindh government is unable to do so, the letter read.

It has also been requested that Sindh government may designate a focal person to arrange transportation and facilitate the students to travel to their home towns.

The cabinet also formed a committee to decide over allowing operations of the construction sector.

The cabinet also gave nod to a scheme to facilitate consumers on power utility bills.

The meeting also decided to introduce e-learning for students as public and private schools and colleges would provide a syllabus to them at home.

Food package

Meanwhile, the cabinet also gave approval to a food package for daily-wagers and labourers affected by lockdown apart from giving a special grant to government employees who are performing duties to tackle coronavirus in the region.

COVID-19 situation

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Rehman said that coronavirus cases in the region have reached 230 with only 72 active cases.

“Overall 155 people have recovered from the virus in Gilgit Baltistan,” said the chief minister further claiming that it was the only provincial territory in the country where tests are conducted free of cost.

He said that instead of establishing quarantine facilities at hospitals, they chose to move it to hotels, avoiding problems being created at the medical facilities.

“We have completed tests on all those having a travelling history in the province,” he said adding that anyone trying to hide his coronavirus symptoms would be fined up to Rs50,000. The chief minister said that they planned to distribute ration among 50,000 needy families in the region and had currently distributed it among 11,000 households.

The Gilgit-Baltistan government on Saturday extended lockdown in the region till April 19.

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