Pak to suspend entry of pedestrians from Afghanistan, Iran

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 curb the spread of Covid-19, according to an official notification.

The decision was taken at a special session on land border management at the country’s National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on May 1, the NCOC notification issued on Sunday revealed

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, Xinhua news agency reported citing the notification as saying.

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 the pandemic.

The country reported 4,414 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 829,933, while the death toll stood at 18,070.