The government has taken a major decision to close Pak-Afghan border at Chaman to prevent cross border transmission of the Coronavirus. According to an official of the Ministry of National Health services, the measure would take effect from March 2 and remain in force for seven days. He said that the decision was taken keeping in view the Coronavirus situation and to avoid its transmission to Pakistan. He added that the situation would be reviewed after seven days and appropriate decision would be made further.

An official communication conveying decision to close the border at Chaman has been sent to the authorities concerned in Balochistan by the Ministry of Interior. "This is a crucial step we had to take to safeguard the health of people of the two countries," Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Dr Zafar Mirza said, adding that the border crossing had a heavy traffic of travellers from both sides on a daily basis. He said that the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan had put measures in place and taken steps in the best interest of people in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The situation demands a coordinated national response and federal, provincial government and all relevant agencies are working in unison to meet the challenge. The role of the communities and media was of utmost importance in sharing only accurate and authentic information so panic could be avoided and risk averted, he added.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2020

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