| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

Iran seals Pakistan border over new virus outbreak in frontier town

On Thursday, officials from Pakistan’s embassy in Tehran met with Iranian officials to discuss a border closure sparked by an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in a border town.
Iran and Pakistan share a 1,000-kilometer border that separates Pakistan’s Balochistan province from Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province.

“The Iranian side has closed the border because to a high incidence of COVID-19 in Zahedan,” Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, a spokeswoman for Pakistan’s Foreign Office, told Arab News (capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province). On this topic, the Pakistani Embassy in Tehran is in close contact with Iranian authorities.”

Deputy commissioner of the border town of Chagai, Agha Sher Zaman, said the border was closed only for Pakistani citizens who wanted to visit Iran while those who wished to return home could do so if they had received a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of travel and met other requirements set by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), Pakistan’s federal pandemic response body.

The border was also open for trade and for Iranian citizens who wanted to return home, according to Zaman. “Iranian citizens must also pass a negative test before returning home.”
At the border, Pakistani individuals arriving from Iran were checked and tested, and only those who tested negative for COVID-19 were permitted to enter the country. Positive test results would be quarantined, he added.

After a COVID-19 breakout in the neighboring country, Pakistan closed its border with Iran fully on February 24 of last year. However, a few months later, in June, the Taftan border was reopened, followed by the reopening of all five border crossing sites for trade.

  • Arab News