COVID Third Wave: Pakistan decides to seal Afghan, Iran borders

Owing to escalating COVID-19 third wave and the increasing number of Coronavirus cases, Pakistan has decided to seal its 959 kilometres in length border with Iran—and 2430 km border Afghanistan.

A statement issued by the National Command and Control Center (NCOC) on Sunday said the revised policy will be effective from midnight May 4-5 till midnight  May 19-20. The policy will only apply to inbound pedestrians with no effect on the existing cargo/trade (bilateral / Afghan Transit Trade) movement.

However, Pakistanis in both countries will be allowed to return while Afghanis and Iranis will be allowed to go back to their respective countries.

The authority clarified that people coming from both countries on medical grounds will also be allowed to enter Pakistan.

According to the NCOC, all drivers, co-drivers will be scanned at the border terminals and COVID positive will be dealt with as per the policy.

According to the NCOC statement, border terminals (BTs) will remain open for seven days a week. "Employment strength of LEAs/health staff at BTs will be increased for implementation of testing protocols and to control high traffic density," read the statement.

The announcement comes at a time when Pakistan is presently experiencing the third wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous two waves.

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 4,414 cases of coronavirus were reported while 113 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 18,070.

The total number of confirmed cases reached 829,933.

As many as 722,202 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,448 critical cases.

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