ISLAMABAD                -             Pakistan has decided to keep its western and eastern borders completely closed for two more weeks to tackle the spread of coronavirus in the country, said the Ministry of Interior.

The Ministry in an announcement said that this decision was taken in the National Coordination Committee (NCC) for COVID-19 that met on Monday under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan.  This extension comes as the deadline was set to expire shortly. The 14-day extension in closure of borders has been made for the second time.

The Ministry through an order said that the duration of closure of Wagah Border with India has been extended for a further two week from April 16 to 29. Another order said that extension in closure of western border with Afghanistan and Iran has been approved for two more weeks with effect from April 13 to 26.

A third consecutive order says that extension in duration for closure of Kartarpur Border has been approved for the same period from April 11 to 24.

Last month, the NCC for COVID-19 in its March 26 meeting had decided to extend the closure of borders for another fortnight to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 from neighboring countries.

On March 19, Pakistan had closed Wagah Border for two weeks as part of its efforts to tackle COVID-19.

On the special request of the government of Afghanistan and based on humanitarian considerations, Pakistan decided to allow Afghan nationals currently in Pakistan to leave for their country, the Foreign Office had said in a statement.