Islamabad: In view of deaths caused by novel coronavirus in Iran, Pakistan has temporarily closed its border with the neighbouring country and decided not to allow anyone to cross into Pakistan without strict screening at the entry points in Balochistan province.
“We have closed all the five entry points – Taftan, Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur and Washuk – at the border with Iran on Sunday,” Dawn news quoted provincial Home Minister Ziaullah Langove as saying, adding that the step had been taken as a precautionary measure.
However, the Iranian government has said that it had not put any restriction on travel from Pakistan and its border was open.
“We are granting visa to deserving people, including pilgrims, who are applying for it,” a spokesman for the Iranian consulate in Quetta said.
“All entry gates at Taftan being used for crossing into Pakistan were closed this morning,” a senior security official posted at Taftan told Dawn news, adding that patrolling along the Iran border too had been intensified to keep an eye on the people’s movement.
Four other entry points located in Turbat, Gwadar, Panjgur and Washuk districts have also been closed.
Pakistan’s move came the same day after Iranian authorities announced that the number of coronavirus deaths in the country had increased to six, with 28 confirmed cases.
So far, Pakistan has not reported a single coronavirus case.