Islamabad, 23February 2020 – Mudasser Chudhary:
Pakistan temporarily closed its border with Iran at Taftan on Sunday morning as the number of casualties from the novel coronavirus in the neighbouring country rose to eight.
Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove told that the border was temporarily closed by the authorities in light of reports of coronavirus deaths in Iran.
“Yes we have closed the border,” Langove confirmed.
The Balochistan government has also imposed a ban on the travel of pilgrims from Pakistan into Iran by road and has asked the provincial home department to coordinate with other provinces in this regard.
Assistant Commissioner of Taftan Najeebullah Qambrani said the screening of those pilgrims staying at Pakistan House has started.
He added that preparations for setting up the 100-bed tent hospital in Taftan have also started and a team of doctors has arrived from Islamabad.
Dr Zafar Mirza held a meeting in Islamabad, where he was briefed on the situation in Iran. Dr Mirza had also reached out to the Balochistan chief minister and assured all help and cooperation to the provincial government.
The COVID-19 outbreak has claimed the lives of eight people in Iran since Wednesday. Authorities have ordered as a “preventive measure” the closure of schools, universities and other educational centres in 14 provinces across the country from Sunday.
The outbreak in Iran has centred on the holy city of Qom, where officials say travellers from China brought the new coronavirus.
Iranian health ministry’s spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour added that out 15 newly confirmed cases, seven were in Qom, while four were in the capital, Tehran.