Pakistan restricts border travel from Afghanistan, Iran to curb spread of coronavirus

Sajjad Hussain
·2-min read

Islamabad, May 2 (PTI) Pakistan on Sunday decided to temporarily stop the movement of people from Afghanistan and Iran in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants.

Inbound pedestrian movement from the two countries would remain suspended from May 5 to 20, the National Command and Coordination Center (NCOC), the top anti-corona body of the country, said.

However, Pakistani nationals desirous to return from these counties would be exempted from it. In case of extreme medical cases, movement of people will be allowed.

There will be no effect on existing cargo trade movements and will remain effective. All outbound pedestrian movement would also be allowed.

Border Terminals (BTs) will remain open for seven days a week and employment strength of Law Enforcement Agencies and health staff at BTs will be increased for implementation of testing protocols and to control high traffic density, according to the statement.

The decision was made as Pakistan's coronavirus death toll crossed 18,000 after 113 people died during the last 24 hour.

Another 4,414 new cases of infection were reported in this period, taking the national tally of confirmed cases to 829,933, while the number of total deaths jumped to 18,070, according to the Ministry of National Health Services.

But 5,193 people recovered in the previous one day and with it the number of recuperated people in the country reached 722,202. However, some 5,448 patients were still in a critical condition.

The positivity rate lately recorded was 9.75 per cent.

Meanwhile, the government has banned all kinds of religious processions ahead of Ramzan.

Separately, the official data of the health ministry showed that over 15,000 children and people between one and 20 years of age tested positive for the COVID-19 in April. It said that six children, between one and 10 years of age, lost their lives last month.

Out of all the cases of children in April, nearly 3,000 were between one and 10 years.

The ministry said that a total of 93,000 children have been infected since the start of the pandemic. PTI SH CPS AMS