Sunday, October 2, 2022

Coronavirus fears: Pakistan seals Chaman border with Afghanistan

Coronavirus fears: Pakistan seals Chaman border with Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Pakistan sealed Chaman border with Afghanistan Monday morning for one week due to fear of the novel coronavirus outbreak. It is pertinent to mention here that the federal government took the decision after Kabul confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, while Pakistan has confirmed four cases so far but all of them had a travel history to Iran. The Pakistani authorities had initially decided to just screen people coming in to Pakistan via the Chaman border but later decided to completely seal the border. According to the reports, it has been sealed for an initial period of seven days and could be extended. The notification issued by the Frontier Corps Balochistan section officer said it was in the best interest of the people of the brotherly countries. The Pakistani Embassy in Kabul released a similar statement. Around 10,000 cross the border every day for trade, medical treatment, work or to meet relatives. It is noteworthy that Pakistan and Afghanistan share a 2,600-kilometre border and people cross it all the time. Security forces have been stationed at the illegal crossings as well. However, the Pak-Iran border in Taftan was sealed last week and still close after ninth day. Earlier, Pakistan opened the Taftan Border for its citizens trapped in Iran due to fears of spread of coronavirus after five days. After opening of the Immigration Gate, devotees, traders and other people entered Pakistan. The people returning from Iran were shifted to Pakistan House for screening. As many as 7,800 Pakistanis have returned from Iran from February 20 to till now. Of them, 2,100 belong to Quetta. According to the Health Department, over 700 devotees have undergone the screening process. Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal presided over a meeting which decided to take emergency steps to conduct the medical examination and screening. Provincial ministers Ameer Zahoor Bulaidi and Mir Zia Lango said that the phase-wise return of the devotees is being ensured. Sindh Government Spokesman Murtaza Wahab said that screening of over 600 people coming from Iran to Sindh had been completed. “No new person has tested positive for coronavirus. Citizens should not be worried. Educational institutions would be reopened,” he said. On the other hand, the record of teachers and employees coming from China and Iran has been sought. The Sindh Education Department has decided to conduct tests on all such people.