videonewsasia.com PAKISTAN-BRIEFING/CORONAVIRUS

PAKISTAN-BRIEFING/CORONAVIRUS

Local News Islamabad, ISLAMABAD

News ID : 76286 Video Version : 1 Script Version : 1

File Size : 91.90 KB duration2:03

Headline

Pakistan delays Khunjerab Pass opening after coronavirus threat.

Intro

Pakistan announces to open Khunjerab Pass with China in April, instead of its previous decision for an early opening, following outbreak of Novel Coronavirus.

Story

SHOTLIST: ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (JANUARY 30, 2020) (VNA – ACCESS ALL)

  1. FOREIGN MINISTRY BUILDING
  2. FOREIGN OFFICE SPOKESPERSON AISHA FAROOQUI, ARRIVING FOR WEEKLY NEWS BRIEFING
  3. FAROOQUI CONDUCTING BRIEFING
  4. JOURNALISTS SEATED
  5. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) FOREIGN OFFICE SPOKESPERSON AISHA FAROOQUI, SAYING: “Regarding Khunjerab border, we have been told that its opening has been re-scheduled. Earlier, the idea was to reopen it but that was before the outbreak of coronavirus. Now, according to the latest information, this decision has been revised and the border will open in April according to its schedule.”
  6. REPORTERS
  7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOREIGN OFFICE SPOKESPERSON AISHA FAROOQUI, SAYING: “We are also extremely thankful to the Chinese government for extending best possible assistance to Pakistani nationals in China. We have no doubt that the brotherly Chinese people will overcome this challenge with their characteristic strength and resilience.”
  8. JOURNALISTS
  9. HAND OF REPORTER TAKING NOTES
  10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOREIGN OFFICE SPOKESPERSON AISHA FAROOQUI, SAYING: “A high-powered technical committee has been established in which all stake holders are represented. All measures for the safety and welfare of our nationals are being taken and will be taken by the government. The embassy and our consulates have reached out extensively to all students and have been in touch with Chinese officials. We have been ensured that the safety and welfare of our nationals will be assured, and I want to reassure everyone on this matter.”
  11. END OF NEWS CONFERENCE

STORY: Pakistan on Thursday (January 30) announced to open Khunjerab Pass with China in April, instead of its previous decision for an early opening, following outbreak of Novel Coronavirus.

At the regular weekly news briefing in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said the opening of the crossing point at Pak-China border would now take place according to routine plan.

The spokesperson said the change of decision for an early opening of border was part of health safety measures.

“Regarding Khunjerab border, we have been told that its opening has been re-scheduled. Earlier, the idea was to reopen it but that was before the outbreak of coronavirus. Now, according to the latest information, this decision has been revised and the border will open in April according to its schedule,”Farooqui told reporters.

As per agreement between Pakistan and China, the Khunjerab Pass is closed in November due to heavy snowfall and reopens in April.

Farooqui, on behalf of Pakistan, thanked Chinese government for extending assistance to Pakistani nationals in China.

“We are also extremely thankful to the Chinese government for extending best possible assistance to Pakistani nationals in China. We have no doubt that the brotherly Chinese people will overcome this challenge with their characteristic strength and resilience,”she said.

She said Pakistan was in constant touch with the Chinese authorities to ensure safety of its nationals and the contact persons of Pakistan embassy were available at hotline for any assistance.

She said the government had set up a technical core committee with all stakeholders to regularly monitor the situation and make immediate plans to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus.

“A high-powered technical committee has been established in which all stake holders are represented. All measures for the safety and welfare of our nationals are being taken and will be taken by the government. The embassy and our consulates have reached out extensively to all students and have been in touch with Chinese officials. We have been ensured that the safety and welfare of our nationals will be assured, and I want to reassure everyone on this matter,”she said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday urged governments around the world to "take action" over the SARS-like virus, cases of which have been confirmed in almost 20 countries.

The death toll in China from the new coronavirus has risen to 170, as more countries announced plans to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.

More than 7,711 people in China are now confirmed to have the infection, which has spread from Wuhan's Hubei province to every one of China's 31 provinces.

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