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Coronavirus: After 14 days, Pakistan opens Taftan border with Iran for trade

The novel coronavirus has killed more than 100 in Iran,prompting Pakistan to close the Taftan crossing with Iran

By Web Desk
March 07, 2020

TAFTAN: Pakistan opened its Taftan border gate with Iran on Sunday for trade after two weeks of closure following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that killed more than 100 in the neighbouring country.

A day after the first coronavirus patient recovered completely, Pakistan opened its Taftan border for trade with Iran and allowed trailers laden with goods to pass through the crossing.

Pakistan had closed its border with Iran on February 23 after the coronavirus situation deteriorated in the country. More than 120 people have been killed so far in the country and 4,500 have been affected by the pandemic. The infection spread from the wet markets of Wuhan and has spread to over 70 countries and affected more than 80,000 people worldwide.

A day earlier, Geo News had reported the number of people quarantined at Pakistan House in Taftan had overwhelmed the space's capacity with authorities shifting the pilgrims to another place.

Quoting Customs officials, the TV channel reported that more than 3,000 people were currently kept at two quarantine centres in Taftan.

Pakistan House at Taftan is filled, with over 2,500 people being kept thereafter screening at the border crossing.

Iran earlier had announced a surge in COVID-19 cases with 17 more deaths raising the total number of people killed to 124 as Tehran continues to grapple with the pandemic that has triggered panic across the globe.

Pakistani authorities, on the other hand, have stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Screening machines have been installed and quarantine centres established at border outposts where pilgrims coming from Iran are kept before being allowed to enter the country.

Pakistan, Iran resolve to jointly tackle spread of virus

Islamabad and Tehran have agreed to work together to limit the coronavirus outbreak after nearly 3,000 people, including senior government functionaries, were confirmed to have contracted the virus in Iran.

The agreement over a joint response was reached during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart, Jawad Zarif.

Qureshi told Zarif that Pakistan extends its full support to Iran in coping with the virus.