Saturday Mar 07 2020
Web Desk

Coronavirus outbreak: Trade activities resume at Pakistan-Iran border after 14 days

Web Desk
Pakistani soldiers wearing facemasks stand guard at the closed Pakistan-Iran border in Taftan on February 25, 2020 as fears over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus escalate following an outbreak in neighbouring Iran. Photo: AFP

Trade activities resumed at the Pakistan-Iran border on Saturday after 14 days amid the coronavirus fears, reported Geo News.

Pakistan had closed its border with Iran at Taftan after more than 120 people were killed and more than 4,500 infected with the novel coronavirus in the neighbouring country.

According to Levies officials, trade activities resumed at the border after 14 days with trailers coming and going into the country.

A day earlier, Geo News had reported the number of people quarantined at Pakistan House in Taftan had overwhelmed the space's capacity with authorities shifting the pilgrims to another place.

Quoting Customs officials, the TV channel reported that more than 3,000 people were currently kept at two quarantine centres in Taftan.

Pakistan House at Taftan is filled, with over 2,500 people being kept thereafter screening at the border crossing.

Read also: Pakistan-Iran border closure enters fourth day, trade activities remain suspended

Iran earlier had announced a surge in COVID-19 cases with 17 more deaths raising the total number of people killed to 124 as Tehran battles the world’s deadliest outbreak of the disease outside China where it originated.

Pakistani authorities, on the other hand, have stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Screening machines have been installed and quarantine centres established at border outposts where pilgrims coming from Iran are kept before being allowed to enter the country.

Pakistan, Iran resolve to jointly tackle spread of virus

Islamabad and Tehran have agreed to work together to limit the coronavirus outbreak after nearly 3,000 people, including senior government functionaries, were confirmed to have contracted the virus in Iran.

The agreement over a joint response was reached during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart, Jawad Zarif.

Qureshi told Zarif that Pakistan extends its full support to Iran in coping with the virus.

Coronavirus outbreak: Pakistan, Iran resolve to jointly tackle spread of virus

Border with Afghanistan sealed

Moreover, Pakistan’s border with Chaman continues to be closed with all activities and movement halted across the Bab-e-Dosti crossing due to the spread of the virus in the neighbouring country.

According to a notification issued, “The Pak-Afghan border at Chaman will remain closed from March 2 due to the coronavirus outbreak on both sides of the border in the best interest of the people of the brotherly countries.”

The notification further said that during the period of closure, necessary measures will be taken to safeguard the health of the people of both countries.

Russia shuts borders with Iran over coronavirus fears

Russia on Friday announced plans to restrict access to people arriving from Iran as it moves to ensure the population’s safety and thwart the spread of the new coronavirus infection.

The Federal Security Service will be "temporarily halting passage through the Russian border of foreign citizens... arriving from Iran" to work-study or travel in Russia, a government decree said.

The measures aimed at "stopping the spread of the new coronavirus infection on Russian territory" and protect public health, it said.

Russia on Friday announced six new cases of the COVID-19 virus infection in the country, five of which were registered in Moscow. All six recently visited Italy.