Balochistan to start random COVID-19 testing from Wednesday: spokesperson

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QUETTA, APR 14 – Balochistan will start testing residents for the novel coronavirus randomly on a mass scale from tomorrow [Wednesday], Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said.

“Once we start testing people, we will find out where the ratio of the spread of the virus is more and where it isn’t,” he said on Tuesday.

Shahwani clarified that only after tests are conducted on a massive scale like this can it be decided where the lockdown should be extended or not. “The government will base its results district-wise,” he said.
“This also means that while the lockdown will be tightened in some districts, it can also be loosened in others,” the spokesperson explained. So far, Quetta has been sealed completely after the coronavirus cases in the city had spiked.

“All entry and exit points of the city have been closed down,” Shahwani said. He assured that even if the lockdown is extended, shops of essentials items will remain open.

The spokesperson revealed that more than 800,000 people in the province are living below the poverty line and the number has increased to one million ever since the lockdown was imposed.

“If this continues, more than 1.5 million impoverished people will suffer,” he said, adding that both the Centre and province have to take a decision keeping them in consideration.

The province has reported 231 cases of the virus so far. Of these, more than 60 cases are of local transmission.