Pak-Iran trade resumes after 13 days

Islamabad:  Trade activities between Pakistan and Iran has resumed after a suspension of 13 days amid fears of the coronavirus outbreak that has sp far infected 5,823 and killed 145 people in Iran.

On Saturday, over 35 vehicles loaded with Liquefied Pet­roleum Gas and other commodities were allowed to enter Pakistan through the Taftan dry port, a senior levies official told Dawn news.

He said the Iranian drivers and cleaners were screened after their arrival at Taftan border.

Pakistan closed its border with Iran on February 23, following confirmation of the first two coronavirus cases in the neighbouring country.

However, the immigration process was reopened after five days and since then more than 35,000 Pakistani pilgrims have returned from Iran.

Deputy Commissioner of Chagai Agha Sher Zaman told Dawn news that the pilgrims returning from Iran were kept in a quarantined set-up at Taftan, a border town in Chagai district.

The deputy commissioner said: “We are struggling every day to establish accommodation facilities for pilgrims. They have been given food, medicines and other items according to their needs.”

He added that more than 300 pilgrims had returned from Iran on Saturday, who were later quarantined after screening by health teams deputed at entry points of the border.

According to official sources, six Iranian citizens were allowed to return back from Taftan border on Saturday.

As of now, Pakistan has reported six coronavirus cases, of which one patient has recovered and been allowed to join his family.