War against Coronavirus: Pakistan shuts educational institutions, seals border with Afghanistan, Iran


Pakistan shuts educational institutions, seals border with Afghanistan, Iran

Pakistan shuts educational institutions, seals border with Afghanistan, Iran

By Nasir Aijaz
TheAsiaN Representative

Islamabad: Pakistan is all set to completely seal its western border with Afghanistan and Iran from Monday March 16, 2020 to prevent the spread of the pandemic coronavirus, a notification issued from the interior ministry said on Friday.

The decision comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting of the National Security Committee over the pandemic that has so far killed more than 5,000 people around the world. In Pakistan, the number of cases rose to 21 after another person tested positive in Sindh province earlier today.

The order directs for the “complete sealing of western border of Pakistan with Afghanistan and Iran, as directed by the National Security Committee in its meeting held on March 13, for an initial period of two weeks (14 days) with effect from March 16”.

The border closure would come into effect on March 16 “in the best interest of all three brotherly countries”, the notification added.

Further, a decision “to close all educational institutions till April 5” was also made during the meeting, according to Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood. The educational institutions comprise public and private schools and universities, vocational institutions, and madrassas (religious seminaries), he clarified.

“The situation regarding closure of all educational institutions in the country would be reviewed by the Ministry of Education on 27th March and further decisions taken,” Mehmood added.

The provincial government of Sindh had already closed all the public and private educational institutions since March 2 to 15 and late Thursday night extended the closure to May 31 declaring it as Summer Vacations, which usually are avail for two months – June and July every due to scorching weather.

Sindh government had complained on Thursday that the Federal government is not serious in tackling the situation and had left Sindh province alone to fight the pandemic. Sindh has detected maximum cases of virus, as 15 of the total 21 coronavirus cases have been reported in Sindh alone, where a large number of people have returned from Iran after pilgrimage of sacred places. Some of the 15 cases were those who returned from abroad through Gulf countries.

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