ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Thursday closed the Wagah Border for two weeks to prevent outbreak of deadly coronavirus in the country, the Ministry of Interior said.

According to a letter written by the Ministry to the Director General Pakistan Rangers (Punjab), Lahore, the government has ordered “complete sealing of Wagah Border for an initial period of two weeks (14 days) with immediate effect in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The Ministry in a separate announcement said that the closure of border was in the best interest of both Pakistan and India in the wake of rising confirmed cases of deadly disease day-by-day.

The move comes after the tally of confirmed coronavirus cases jumped to 326 cases in Pakistan, according to the official website of the government specially established for this purpose.

On Wednesday, the country reported its first two deaths from coronavirus, both from Khyber Pakhthunkwa. The first victim was a 50-year-old from Mardan who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia. Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic.

The security forces had sealed the border bringing all activities at the Friendship Gate—the border crossing point—to a standstill. Later, the ministry had decided for extension in closure.

Pakistan has already sealed its border with Iran at Taftan since Feb 23 following outbreak of coronavirus in the neighbouring country.