Pakistan Rail Services has been suspended with Iran, step taken as precaution amid Coronavirus outbreak across the border that has killed at least 17.
Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed said on Wednesday that government has decided to shut Pakistan rail services with Iran to prevent coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan.
In a statement, the minister said that four trains suspended for indefinite time period in this regard.
The decision was taken following closure of Pakistan-Iran border in a wake of coronavirus threat, he added.
On the other hand Pak Iran border continued to closed on fourth day due to coronavirus outbreak in Iranian cities.
The government has arranged special screening process for proper checkup of over 270 quarantined passengers, who have been provided temporary residence at the border.
“We have decided not to take a chance and keep all of them under observation for the next 15 days,” Najeebullah Qambrani, assistant commissioner at the Taftan border crossing told.
Balochistan’s secretary of health Mudassir Malik confirmed the quarantine but estimated that between 200 and 250 were being held.
He added that around 7,000 pilgrims had returned to Pakistan from Iran this month alone.
Iranian media on Wednesday announced a new coronavirus death in Bandar Abbas, raising the casualty toll to 17.
Iran has the highest number of deaths from coronavirus outside China, where the virus emerged late last year.
“Among those who had been suspected of the virus, 35 have been confirmed and two died of the coronavirus infection,” said Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour. He said 95 people had been infected across Iran.
The Health Ministry urged Iranians to stay at home.
Iran said on Monday 900 cases suspected, dismissing claims by a lawmaker from Qom who said 50 people had died in the city, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak.
Iran, which confirmed its first two deaths last week in Qom.
Irania President Hassan Rouhani called for calm, saying the outbreak was no worse than other epidemics that Iran has weathered.
Sales of masks, disinfectant gels and disposable gloves have soared in Tehran and other cities, with officials vowing to prevent hoarding and shortages by boosting production.