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Pakistan shuts border with Iran, Afghanistan over virus

Education institutions across country also closed from today

Islamuddin Sajid   | 16.03.2020
Pakistan shuts border with Iran, Afghanistan over virus

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

Pakistan closed its borders with Iran and Afghanistan on Monday for two weeks amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

All education institutions across the country also shut down from today following a decision by the National Security Committee, which includes the country’s top civilian and military leaders.

On Friday, the National Security Committee held a meeting in the capital Islamabad chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by key cabinet ministers and the heads of the army, navy and air force.

According to a notification issued by the Interior Ministry, the country’s borders with neighboring Iran and Afghanistan were completely sealed from Monday for an initial period of two weeks “in the best interests of the three brotherly countries.”

"All educational/technical institutions, public and private, at all levels will remain closed for three weeks across the country," said an official statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office

The government has also closed the Kartarpur Corridor to Pakistani visitors, but Indian Sikh pilgrims will be allowed to continue to visit.

Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, located in Pakistan’s Narowal district, is one of the most revered temples for the Sikh community as the Sikh faith’s founder Baba Guru Nanak spent 18 years of his life there.

Pakistan confirmed 17 new cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 51.

In most of the previous cases, the patients had a history of traveling to neighboring Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 141 countries and territories.

The global death toll from the virus has surpassed 5,700, with more than 152,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

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