Pakistan reopens Iran border for trade
Taftan border had been shut 14 days ago after surge in coronavirus cases in Iran
Pak-Afghan border at Chaman likely to be reopened today
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: A day after the Sindh government announced the “complete recovery” of Pakistan’s first coronavirus patient in Karachi, the federal government on Saturday reopened the country’s border with Iran for trade activities, 14 days after it was closed down following an increase in cases of the novel coronavirus in the country.
The government had shut the Taftan border on February 23, as part of its precautionary measures to contain the spread of the mysterious virus, which originated in a vet market of Hubei’s Wuhan city and has since then spread to more than 90 countries of the world, killing over 3,500 and infecting over 100,000, mostly in China thus far.
Iran has reported 21 new deaths from the novel coronavirus and 1,076 fresh cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall tolls to 145 dead and 5,823 infected.
The Islamic republic is battling one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks of the disease outside China, where it originated.
The Pakistani government had stopped pilgrims and traders from traveling to and from Iran. Hundreds of pilgrims were called back to Quetta from the Taftan border and special checkposts had been established to monitor their movement.
Authorities have now confirmed that trade activities have begun at the Pak-Iran border after a gap of 14 days. According to local administration, movement of goods laden trucks and trailers has also started following the restoration of trade activities.
Passengers arriving in the country through Taftan border are kept in quarantine at Pakistan House, where the number of travellers has crossed 3,000. Some visitors have been shifted to Town Hall due to space constraints.
On the other hand, the border with Afghanistan at Chaman has also been closed for the last six days following confirmation of fresh coronavirus cases in the westerly neighbours. The two-sided transportation, therefore, remained suspended at Bab-e-Dosti.
The Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) has said the Pak-Afghan border at Chaman is likely to reopen on Sunday. Travellers entering the country will however be screened for coronavirus accordingly.
Coronavirus patient
discharged from hospital
The first person who contracted the novel coronavirus in Pakistan last week, was discharged from hospital on Saturday after he recovered completely from the infection.
The young man, who was the first coronavirus patient from Karachi and Pakistan, was sent home after fully recovering from the virus. On Thursday, Pakistan reported its sixth case of the pandemic.
Sindh information minister Murtaza Wahab had announced Friday that the patient had recovered from the disease and upon testing negative for the coronavirus one more time, he will be discharged from the hospital.