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Pakistan to suspend entry of pedestrians from Afghanistan, Iran through land border crossings amid COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will suspend the entry of pedestrians from Afghanistan and Iran through land border terminals for over two weeks from May 5 in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to an official notification released on Sunday.

The decision was taken at a special session on land border management at the country’s National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Saturday, the NCOC notification said.

The revised land border management policy will be implemented from May 5 to May 20 and applicable only to inbound pedestrians without effect on existing cargo or trade movement, according to the statement.

Pakistani nationals in Afghanistan and Iran will be allowed to return, said the notification, adding that extreme medical emergency cases and funerals of Afghan nationals will also be exempted “as per procedure in vogue.”
Border terminals will remain open for seven days a week while employment strength of the law enforcement agencies and health staff at border terminals will be increased for implementation of testing protocols and to control high traffic density.

The notification said a review of the policy will be carried at the NCOC on May 18.

Pakistan is struggling to contain the third wave of COVID-19. The country reported 4,414 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 829,933, the NCOC said on Sunday.

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