Open for trade, closed for corona

By: News Desk      Published: 10:17 PM, 7 Mar, 2020
Open for trade, closed for corona
CHECKPOINT: An official screening a woman pilgrim returning from Iran last week.–AFP

Pakistan again sealed the Taftan border on Saturday after it was opened briefly for trade, 24 News HD reported.

Islamabad shut all entry points – Taftan, Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur and Washuk – at the border with Iran to fend off coronavirus a couple of weeks ago when Tehran reported first death from the virus.

Another 21 deaths in 24 hours took the tally to 145 in Iran. Originating from a Chinese city, the virus spread to more than 96 countries, killing over 3500.

Noor, Saleh discuss pilgrim safety

Federal Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri phoned Saudi Hajj Minister Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Benten. The duo discussed pilgrim safety a day after the Kingdom closed the area around Holy Kaaba.

Saleh bin Taher said the Saudi government has been taking steps to protect pilgrims and it would use all resources for this purpose. He said a comprehensive strategy being devised to get over the challenge.

The unprecedented suspension of Umrah has raised uncertainty over the annual Hajj pilgrimage scheduled for end of July. Entry into Saudi Arabia from UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain will be restricted to three airports in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.