Iran closes land borders with Pakistan amid COVID surge
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 27 April 2021 6:46 PM
Iran is closing its land borders with Pakistan to passenger travel as amid growing fears that a highly infectious variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) found in India could hit the country hard amid a renewed surge in infection cases.
Iranian customs office IRICA said on Tuesday that southeastern borders with Pakistan would only allow the return of Iranian and Pakistani nationals to their countries after the new ban is imposed on Wednesday.
IRICA spokesman Rouhollah Latifi said borders processed a total of 192 passengers between Iran and Pakistan on Tuesday as they prepare for closures.
Latifi said hygiene controls would be imposed on trucks arriving from Pakistan for the next 10 days while commercial vessels would only be allowed to load and unload at Iranian ports after going through some strict checks and controls.
Iran's transportation minister Mohammad Eslami said on Tuesday that the government had no plan to halt processing trade shipments arriving from India and Pakistan.
Iran had banned flights to and from India and Pakistan on Saturday over fears that an Indian variant of the coronavirus could spread into the country.
Iran's civil aviation authority narrowed down the list of countries with outright ban on flights to 15 on Tuesday, saying passengers arriving from 27 more countries would be subject to testing and quarantine measures.
Other reports suggested authorities would ease ban on some flights within the next few days.
Iranian health authorities announced a record daily toll of 496 deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday although they insisted there has been no report about any infections involving the Indian variant of the virus.
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