ISLAMABAD - Since Pakistan has recorded 4892 con­firmed COVID-19 cases with 78 deaths, the PTI government’s coalition part­ner from Balochistan [BNP-Mengal] be­lieved that 95 percent cases of coronavi­rus in the country are due to the alleged mismanagement at Taftan border.

“Around 95 percent cases of coronavi­rus in the country are due to misman­agement at Taftan border as Pakistani pilgrims were allowed to cross the bor­der into their homeland from Iran with­out testing coronavirus,” said BNP-Men­gal chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, in an exclusive interview with The Nation.

These pilgrims have helped in spread­ing the virus in parts of the country as they left the quarantine centre without proper testing of the virus.

“Spread of virus could also be linked to the international flights land in different parts of the country, but the main reason of the virus spread is the mismanage­ment at the Taftan border,” he said.

About the plight of devotees housed near the hinterland of Quetta city [Mian Ghundi] to control the pandemic, he said that there were even no basic facil­ities for the people in ‘so-called quaran­tine centre’ established for them.

“I would rather term it a pathetic ref­ugee centre having no basic necessi­ties,” he said, mentioning that this mis­management had surely multiplied the coronavirus cases.

Mengal had time and again informed the government in centre and the Ba­lochistan Assembly about the situation but no proper attention was given to it. “Even in Balochistan Assembly con­cerned minister made mockery of the threat related to coronavirus,” he said and added the situation might have been different in the country, had prop­er attention been given to the requests of BNP-Mengal members.

BNP-Mengal MNA Agha Hansan Ba­loch was the first MNA in the assembly, who had pointed out the alleged mis­management at Taftan border. He had cautioned that the weak management could be a source of spreading the virus but no attention was given on it, he said.

The BNP-Mengal chief said that there was a need to fix responsibility of this big negligence.

He resented the arrest of dozens of doc­tors who were protesting the non-availa­bility of personal protective equipment. “If doctors will be arrested who would serve in hospitals. Can ministers per­form duty of doctors to save people from infectious virus,” he questioned.

A couple of days before Balochistan Police had arrested over a dozen young doctors in Quetta while they were pro­testing against the unavailability of per­sonal protective equipment (PPEs) in the provincial hospitals.

“Only the recorded cases of Ba­lochistan are over 200,” he said, men­tioning that the situation in interior Balochitan can be imagined where the people have no basic amenities.

About the formation of parliamenta­ry committee on coronavirus, the BNP-chief was not much optimistic that it would prove much fruitful. “I think out­put of this committee will not be more than briefings on the situation,” he said.

He said even developed countries are unable to avoid spread of this infectious virus. There is a need for unity to win this war against the deadly virus.