Pakistan shuts border with Iran, Afghanistan over coronavirus

A Pakistani soldier stands guard at Pak-Afghan border after it was closed due to coronavirus, in Chaman, Pakistan, 15 March 2020. According to reports, Pakistani authorities extended the closure of border with Afghanistan for seven days, after it was initially closed on 09 March to prevent the spread of Coronavirus on both sides of the border. EPA-EFE/AKHTAR GULFAM

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Pakistan closed its borders with Iran and Afghanistan on Monday for two weeks amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

All education institutions across the country also shut down from today following a decision by the National Security Committee, which includes the country’s top civilian and military leaders.

On Friday, the National Security Committee held a meeting in the capital Islamabad chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by key cabinet ministers and the heads of the army, navy and air force.

According to a notification issued by the Interior Ministry, the country’s borders with neighboring Iran and Afghanistan were completely sealed from Monday for an initial period of two weeks “in the best interests of the three brotherly countries.”

“All educational/technical institutions, public and private, at all levels will remain closed for three weeks across the country,” said an official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office

The government has also closed the Kartarpur Corridor to Pakistani visitors, but Indian Sikh pilgrims will be allowed to continue to visit.

Pakistan confirmed 17 new cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 51.

In most of the previous cases, the patients had a history of traveling to neighboring Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Read more via AA

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