Iran closes eastern borders as virus surges

April 30, 2021 - 16:40

TEHRAN – Iran halted the entry of Pakistani and Afghan travelers and other foreign nationals from the eastern borders to the country to contain the new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, IRIB reported on Friday.

On April 28, shared borders with Pakistan were closed, and a day later, the eastern border terminals of the country stopped operation, Seyed Rouhollah Latifi, Customs Administration spokesman stated.

All entry to the country is prohibited and travelers can only return to their country, he noted.

Over 2,000 passengers prohibited at the borders

Over the past few days, 2,100 Indian, Pakistani and Afghan nationals have been barred from entering the country, Ahmad-Ali Goudarzi, the border police chief announced.

Due to the outbreak of the Indian coronavirus, the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control with the cooperation of related organizations and the Police Force implemented a plan to prevent the virus from spread through the border crossing, he explained.

Through the plan, people infected with the coronavirus are tested and prevented to enter the country through the southeastern and southern borders.

COVID-19 screening for 224,000 passengers at borders

Mehdi Valipour, head of Relief and Rescue Organization affiliated to the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), stated that some 224,150 passengers have so far been screened for coronavirus by thermal tests at the country’s official borders since March 10.

During the aforesaid period, IRCS forces have screened 224,150 passengers for COVID-19, 11,107 of whom with symptoms underwent PCR and 31,366 rapid tests, he said, ILNA reported on Friday.

He went on to lament that some 56 individuals, who tested positive, have so far been temporarily quarantined, under a plan to rapidly identify suspected cases of coronavirus and prevent the spread of new UK strain.

With the cooperation of ministries of health and transport, a plan is being implemented with the goal of rapidly identifying and testing incoming passengers and keeping them in quarantine facilities, if necessary.

Thirty border checkpoints have been selected, including 18 land borders, nine air borders, and three sea borders, all incoming passengers will be tested and referred to the quarantine facilities in case of necessity.

Around 8,000 individuals enter the country via borders on a daily basis.

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