China has asked Pakistan to open the border between the two countries for one day on Friday (March 27) so that medical supplies meant to combat coronavirus could be transported.
The Khunjerab Pass is usually opened on April 1 which marks the end of winter in that part, but due to the global outbreak of Covid-19, the border between Pakistan and China has been closed for an indefinite period.
A letter, written by the Chinese embassy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with copies to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the government of Gilgit-Baltistan and the Ministry of National Health Services, states that the governor of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China would like to donate a batch of medical materials to GB. According to the letter, the governor has donated 200,000 ordinary face masks, 2,000 N-95 face masks, five ventilators, 2,000 testing kits and 2,000 medical protective clothes mainly used by doctors and paramedics.
The donation is in response to a request made by GB Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman to the governor of Xinjiang region to combat coronavirus in the province.
“The materials are ready to be delivered to GB through Khunjerab Pass at 9am Pakistan time on March 27. Therefore, it is requested to temporarily open [border] the same date. In this regard, it is also highly recommended that Pakistani side should agree and make due preparation before the date so that all materials could enter Pakistan smoothly,” said the Chinese embassy’s letter.