Coronavirus fears: Trains between Quetta, Taftan suspended
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Pakistan Railways has suspended the operation of trains between Quetta and Taftan as fears across the region continued to grow over a jump in new coronavirus infections.
Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that the four trains that travel between Quetta and Pakistan’s Taftan have been suspended and called back.
The railways minister said the train service will remain suspended as long as the border is closed. “If you have booked your luggage or other things on the trains, you can take it back,” he said in the video.
وفاقی وزیر ریلوے شیخ رشید احمد کا کوئٹہ تافتان ریلوے ٹریفک بند کرنے کا فیصلہ. pic.twitter.com/EO0z8jcAE7
— Sheikh Rashid Ahmad (@ShkhRasheed) February 26, 2020
It is pertinent to mention here that Taftan is a border city in Balochistan and is the last stop between Iran and Pakistan. Hundreds of people cross the border every day, including pilgrims.
At least 15 people have died due to the virus in Iran and 95, including the deputy health minister and a parliamentarian, have been infected.
Earlier, Pakistan has closed its land border with Iran, while Afghanistan suspended travel to the neighbouring country as fears across the region continued to grow over a jump in new coronavirus infections.
Both Afghanistan and Pakistan share long, porous borders with Iran. Millions of Afghan refugees currently live in the Islamic Republic – raising fears that the virus could easily spread over the border.
“To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect the public, Afghanistan suspends all passenger movement (air and ground) to and from Iran,” the office of the National Security Council of Afghanistan said in a statement posted on Twitter.
A provincial official in Pakistan and the country’s Frontier Corps also confirmed that the country had sealed the land border with Iran.