Pakistan shuts Torkham border with Afghanistan over virus spread

Pakistan on Tuesday closed a key border crossing with neighboring Afghanistan in an attempt to contain coronavirus spread.

Northwestern Torkham border, one of the two key crossings with the war-raked Afghanistan will remain closed for cross-border movement for an indefinite period, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid stated in a Twitter post.

The border, he said, has been closed on the recommendation of the country’s anti-virus task force, National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), following a rise in infections in Afghanistan.

“On the advice of the NCOC all types of immigration departure and arrival will be closed from today (Tuesday) at the Torkham border till the fresh guidelines,” Rashid said.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share 18 crossing points. The most commonly used ones are Torkham and southwestern Chaman borders.

The recent spike in coronavirus cases amid the third wave has badly hit Afghanistan, pressuring the country’s already fragile health care system.

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