Pak-Afghan Chaman border to be closed upcoming week: Interior Ministry
Seven hundred and nine pilgrims from Iran reached Pakistan House at the Taftan Border on Saturday, according to the Balochistan Levies Force.
At least 510 pilgrims and students who came from Iran have been kept at the quarantine centre at the Pakistan House, whereas 199 traders and other residents left for Quetta after they were screened and cleared of the coronavirus.
An officer of the Levies Force said that of the 330 pilgrims who reached Quetta Saturday night, 221 were from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 11 were from Sindh.
The Balochistan government had closed the Taftan Border last week and banned the travel of Pakistani pilgrims to and from Iran amidst coronavirus fears. Residents of areas adjoining the border such as Gwadar, Turbat, Chagai, Panjgur and Nushki have also been barred from going near the border.
Screening of people crossing the Chaman border is also under way, the officer added.
The Ministry of Interior has decided to keep the Pakistan-Afghanistan border closed from March 2 to March 7.
According to the ministry’s notification, the decision has been taken in the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak.
Hundreds of pilgrims travel between the countries every day and there are fears that they might bring with them the highly contagious coronavirus. Pakistan has reported four cases of the virus so far and all the patients had a history of travel to Iran.