close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
A
Agencies
February 24, 2020

Coronavirus: Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan also close borders with Iran

Top Story

A
Agencies
February 24, 2020

TEHRAN/ISTANBUL/AMMAN/ISLAMABAD/BEIJING: Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries also closed border with Iran to check spread of coronavirus in their countries. While Iran on Sunday reported three more novel coronavirus deaths among 15 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities to eight and infections to 43.

Four new COVID-19 cases surfaced in Tehran, seven in the holy city of Qom, two in Gilan and one each in Markazi and Tonekabon, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.

Meanwhile, Turkey on Sunday announced it would "temporarily" close its border with neighbouring Iran as alarm grows over a spike in new coronavirus infections there. "We have decided to shut the land border temporarily after an increase in the number of cases in our neighbor Iran," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters.

The land and railway borders will be closed from 1700 (1400 GMT) on Sunday, the minister said. He said air traffic from Iran into Turkey would also be halted from 2000 (1700 GMT) on Sunday but departures to Iran could continue.

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said exports from Turkey to Iran and transactions continued "in a controlled way", in comments published by the official Anadolu news agency.

Koca said Turkey was "alarmed" by the growing number of cases and forced to take the measures after speaking with the Iranian authorities. There is not yet any confirmed incident in Turkey, with Koca saying that five suspicious cases treated in the Van province on the Iran border were negative.

While, Jordan said on Sunday it would bar entry to citizens of China, Iran and South Korea and other foreigners travelling from those countries in response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The minister of state for media affairs, Amjad Adayleh, said the decision was part of "preemptive measures following the rise in cases of coronavirus in South Korea, Iran" and China.

Adayleh said the ban would be "temporary" and imposed on all non-Jordanians coming from the three nations among the worst affected by the illness. "Jordanians who come from those countries will be placed in quarantine for two weeks to ensure they have not contracted the coronavirus," he said.

His comments came as South Korea on Sunday raised its alert on the new coronavirus to the highest level after reporting three more deaths and 169 new infections. Jordan has so far not reported any cases of coronavirus in the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza on Sunday said effective screening mechanism has been adopted at all Points of Entry (POE) to have check on coronavirus patients.

Chairing a high level meeting to discuss the coronavirus preventive measures, he said well-trained health staff has been deployed at Pak-Iran and Pak-Afghanistan border for proper screening. He said health staff is responsible at the Taftan and other border crossings to screen all passengers. “No one is allowed to enter Pakistan without proper screening,” Dr Zafar Mirza said. The government is ready to deal with any situation, he added.

He said Chinese government has allowed two Pakistani diplomats to assess the problems being faced by Pakistani students trapped in coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan. He added these Pakistani diplomats have arrived in Wuhan to assist the Pakistani students.

He said on Pakistan’s request, China allowed them to meet Pakistani students and coordinate all assistance to them. He assured that all possible services would be ensured for Pakistani students.

On the other hand, China´s death toll from the coronavirus epidemic rose to 2,442 on Sunday after the government said 97 more people had died, all but one of them in the epicentre of Hubei province.

The National Health Commission also confirmed another 648 new cases in China. The vast majority of both deaths and new infections were in the hard-hit Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December. China´s total infections reached 76,936, the commission said in its daily update.

The coronavirus has spread to more than 25 countries and is causing mounting alarm due to new pockets of outbreak in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. China´s numbers of daily new infections are well down from the outbreak´s early height. But China has sowed confusion about the data by repeatedly changing its counting methods.