KHYBER - Thousands of travellers on both sides of the Pak-Af­ghan border Torkham are stuck as the government of Pakistan yesterday shut the border due to the possible spread of coronavirus.

On Saturday last, the Pakistan government amid the possible spread of the COVID-19 in the coun­try had decided to close the Torkham border from March 16 for 14 days.

Thousands of Afghanistan-bound passengers and vice versa at the both sides of the crossing ap­proached the border early in the morning and start­ed waiting in long queues outside the immigration offices to cross the border as early as possible.

The border remained open till midnight on Sun­day to assist the passengers to cross the border, however, after that the crossing was closed for all kind of vehicles.

The Afghan citizens asked the authorities to ex­tend the deadline for closing the border and de­ployed more immigration staff so that they could cross the border to Afghanistan.

Additional Assistant Commissioner, Landi Kotal, Shamsul Islam, said that in the light of the direc­tions of the federal and provincial governments, 11 centres had been set up to quarantine possible 300 coronovirus disease affectees coming from the Af­ghan side.

The isolation centres had been built in the head­quarters hospital, Landi Kotal, the Government Degree College, Landi Kotal, Government High Schools, Government High School Abdul Ghafoor Kalley, Government High School Zentara, Govern­ment Girls High Secondary School, Government Middle Schools Shiekhwal and Gagra respectively besides Veterinary Hospital and C&W office.

The official told that all necessary health equip­ments in addition to the four ambulances had been provided and the health officials had been deployed round the clock to deal with any emergency.

He added that those who had travelled abroad would be admitted in the quarantine centres for 14 days and 40 employees besides the health crew had been trained to serve the possible COVID 19 afect­ees. The official urged the residents to avoid joining public gatherings and strictly follow the directions publicizes by the government.

It is worth to mention here that so far 31 corona­virus positive cases have been detected across the country.