KHYBER /ISLAMABAD                  -              The government Friday announced the complete closure of borders with Iran and Afghanistan to prevent the coronavirus spread.

The decision with regard to the borders’ sealing was taken in pursuance of the directions passed by the National Security Committee (NSC) in its meeting, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior.Initially, the borders were being closed for two weeks in the best interest of all three brotherly countries, it added.Meanwhile, as many as 1,800 pilgrims on Friday were shifted to Quetta from quarantine at the Taftan border.

The pilgrims were kept in the quarantine after reaching to Pakistan from Iran amid coronavirus threat that has claimed more than 450 lives in Iran. The pilgrims were shifted to Quetta in 50 buses under tight security.

At least six Afghan nationals suspected of coronavirus were stopped from entering Pakistan via Torkham border and sent back by authorities on Friday.

Official sources in Torkham said that the six Afghan nationals who reached at the border from Kabul were trying to enter Pakistan through Torkham. They had a history of travel to China and the immigration officials at Torkham border stopped them from crossing the border due to suspicion of Covid19. Later they were deported to Afghanistan.

The health department had deployed its staff at Torkham border for screening of all pedestrians and transporters entering into Pakistan. The health officials are directed to stay alert and check all passengers crossing into Pakistan by way of Torkham border.

In addition, due to threat of coronavirus sports festival at Hamza Baba Complex ground was also postponed for indefinite time. Meanwhile, the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shut down all government and private schools for 15 days.The pilgrims were shifted to Quetta in 50 buses under tight security. At least six Afghan nationals suspected of coronavirus were stopped from entering Pakistan via Torkham border and sent back by authorities on Friday.Official sources in Torkham said that the six Afghan nationals who reached at the border from Kabul were trying to enter Pakistan through Torkham. They had a history of travel to China and the immigration officials at Torkham border stopped them from crossing the border due to suspicion of Covid19. Later they were deported to Afghanistan. The health department had deployed its staff at Torkham border for screening of all pedestrians and transporters entering into Pakistan. The health officials are directed to stay alert and check all passengers crossing into Pakistan by way of Torkham border.