ISLAMABAD                -              The Ministry of Interior has been continuously overseeing situation of closure of borders and sharing required data of international trav­elling with all the provinces to tackle further spread of coronavirus in the country.

The Ministry of Interior has made an effec­tive liaison with all the home departments of provinces and other territories under the con­trol of federal government since the outbreak of COVID-19, an official of the ministry said.

Consequently, the ministry paced the re­quests of all home departments of four prov­inces, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) for deployment of army, under Article 245 of the constitution and Section 131A of Criminal Procedure Code1898, before the 24th March cabinet meeting for its approval.

According to the official, the ministry has been coordinating with all the provinces 24/7 before the outbreak in the country to help gather the data of people travelling to Pakistan from the countries where the COVID-19 had widespread and the data was shared with the concerned authorities as and when required on short notices.

As decided by the National Coordination Committee in its March 13 meeting, the minis­try had ordered complete sealing of the west­ern borders of the country from March 16 for an initial period of 14 days and later the clo­sure was extended for another same period of time. The Wagah Border was sealed on March 19 for an initial period of 14 days. The deci­sion was taken to spread of coronavirus from neighbouring countries.

Besides this, the ministry had taken special initiative regarding sensitization for the clo­sure of Islamabad’s Excise & Taxation Office, property offices, beauty parlours and saloons in ICT. The ministry also formed a special strat­egy for all ministries and divisions to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

The strategy included identification of es­sential staff for important tasks, and employ­ees over 50 years of age, those with illness (flu, fever etc) or facing health challenges and fe­male staff with children were allowed to work from home. Similarly, it took the decision to shutter all public service delivery offices for public dealing.