More than a hundred Chinese engineers and support staff arrived in Islamabad from Urumqi on Friday morning in a special flight after being kept in isolation for 58 days to avoid contracting the dreaded coronavirus which China has largely managed to contain in the last couple of days.
Despite the disease’s outbreak in Pakistan, China’s Gezhouba Group sent 131 professionals to continue working on infrastructure and energy projects under the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the company’s public relation’s officer in Islamabad confirmed.
He added that 28 more Chinese workers were expected to arrive in Islamabad Friday evening.
“The CPEC staff arrived at 9 a.m. today carrying the Pakistani and Chinese flags and raising slogans to display their commitment to the project despite the situation they faced back home or the unfolding situation in Pakistan,” Gezhouba’s Mustafa Kamal told.
“They were thoroughly examined before travel.
“They were also screened upon arrival by National Institute of Health officials and will be kept at an isolation facility in sector F-6/1 (of Islamabad) between 14 and 20 days. We have medical staff there and best available equipment from China and the workers will undergo virus tests again before resuming their duties at project sites,” he added.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office and the Ministry of Planning offered no comment. However, his company had apprised the Foreign Office and other relevant government departments of the workers’ arrival.
“The number of Chinese nationals was also reported to the Foreign Office,” he said, adding that all health and safety measures would be applied as the workers perform their duties, and a person with any disease symptoms would be immediately shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.