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Pakistan allows 300 pilgrims to enter Balochistan from Iran


SAMAA |  - Posted: Feb 28, 2020 | Last Updated: 9 hours ago

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File photo: AFP

Around 300 Pakistanis, who were stuck in Iran amid the coronavirus outbreak, have been given permission to enter Pakistan from Taftan border, an official of the Balochistan government confirmed Friday.

Liaquat Shahwani, the spokesperson for the provincial government, told SAMAA TV that around 5,000 Pakistani pilgrims are currently in Iran and 300 of them were allowed to leave by the Iranian government.

He added that the pilgrims will undergo screening process and will spend 10 days in quarantine.

A Balochistan government official said that more pilgrims will be allowed to enter Pakistan later in phases.

Sindh, Balochistant to share data of pilgrims

The Sindh government and the government of Balochistan have agreed to share the details of 7,000 to 8,000 passengers coming from Iran via Taftan border so they could be screened.

This was decided during a meeting of the Coronavirus taskforce meeting at Sindh CM House on Friday.

Ijaz Shah, the federal interior minister, said that the Pakistanis who went to Iran had gathered at the border to return to Pakistan.

The Sindh CM was told that 557 people in Karachi have gone to Iran and of them the government has established contact with 466 passengers.

Flight operations suspended

Pakistan had suspended on Thursday all flight operations to Iran after two coronavirus cases were confirmed in Karachi and Islamabad.

The border between the two countries had already been sealed and the government has stopped pilgrims from travelling to Iran.

Both confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan were of people who had recently travelled to Iran.

The virus has killed 34 people in Iran, according to Iranian health ministry.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said Friday that 143 cases had been detected over the past 24 hours, increasing the total of confirmed infections to 388.

Among the new cases, 64 were in Tehran while the number of provinces hit by the outbreak rose to 24, Jahanpour said.

“We are currently in a phase in which infections are increasing,” he said, predicting that the situation “will continue for some days, even weeks”.

It is the highest number of new cases for a single day since Iran announced its first confirmed infections on February 19 in the Shiite shrine city of Qom.

Jahanpour said 73 people with the infection had left hospital over the past few days.

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