Pak-Afghan border at Chaman to be closed amid coronavirus scare

Islamabad: Amid coronavirus outbreak, Pakistan will close its border with Afghanistan at Chaman from March 2.

In a letter addressed to the Inspector General Frontier Corps Balochistan (North) Quetta, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said, “Pak-Afghan Border at Chaman will be closed, w.e.f. 2nd March 2020 for an initial period of 7 days in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus on both sides of the border in the best interest of the people of brotherly countries.”

“During the period, necessary measures will be taken to safeguard the health of the people of both countries,” the directive read.

On Saturday, Pakistan confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of persons infected with the deadly virus to four in the country.

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The coronavirus, officially known as COVID19, which originated in Wuhan–capital of the central Chinese province of Hubei– has claimed more than 2900 lives worldwide.

According to Dawn news, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza confirmed that one of the cases is from Karachi while the other patient is from the federal areas.

Pakistan had on Wednesday reported its first case of coronavirus. However, the tally of people infected with the virus soon jumped to two.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan, last month, confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country along the border with Iran.

On Wednesday, Kabul ordered a state of emergency in Herat province that borders Iran.

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Fearing the spread of the disease, the Afghan government on Sunday ordered the closure of the border with Iran.

The health authorities in Iran, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East, officially reported a 58 per cent jump in confirmed infections to 388, and a 30 percent increase in deaths to 34 on Friday.

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