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Pakistan Closes Afghanistan Border at Torkham to Limit Spread of Covid-19

Officials said it was closed due to worsening pandemic as well as law and order situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban are rapidly growing in influence.

Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid talking with PM Imran Khan on June 29, 2021(Source: Twitter)

Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday closed its main border crossing point with Afghanistan where the Covid-19 pandemic and the law and order situation are worsening.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad tweeted that the step was taken on the advice of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the main official body tasked to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

“On the advice of the NCOC, all types of immigration departure and arrival will be closed from today at Torkham Border till the fresh guidelines of NCOC,” the tweet said.

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Torkham linking Peshawar with Jalalabad and Kabul is the gateway for Afghans to Pakistan and thousands of people cross it every day.

Officials said it was closed due to worsening pandemic as well as law and order situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban are rapidly growing in influence.

Meanwhile, Pakistan for the first time since June 30 recorded less than 1,000 new cases, showing a positivity rate of 2.16 per cent.

The Ministry of National Health Services reported 830 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking the national tally to 964,490. Another 25 patients died in this period, pushing the Covid-19 toll to 22,452.

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The vaccination has also been going well and the NCOC reporting that 425,640 doses were administered across Pakistan on July 5. It said the total number of doses administered reached 17,815,986.

Meanwhile, another neighbour Bangladesh on Monday extended its nationwide lockdown by one more week after country’s single-day Covid-19 deaths and cases surpassed previous records on Monday with 164 more fatalities and 9,964 fresh infections.

(With inputs from PTI)

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