Pakistan shuts all educational institutions and borders, limits flights - GulfToday

Pakistan shuts all educational institutions and borders, limits flights


A woman wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 walks along a street in Rawalpindi on Friday. AFP

Tariq Butt, Correspondent / Reuters

Pakistan shut all its schools and land borders on Friday and decided to limit international flights and discourage large gatherings to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus, ministers said.

The measures were announced after a meeting of the national security council chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by civilian and military leaders.

"It has been decided that all borders will remain closed for 15 days," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the local ARY and Dunya TV networks. "International flights will operate only out of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports," he said.

Educational establishments would be closed for three weeks until April 5, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood tweeted.

"This includes all schools and universities, public and private, vocational institutions and madaris," he added.


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Pakistan borders China and Iran, both of which have been hit hard by the virus. It has reported 21 cases of the coronavirus but no deaths.

Most of the victims had a history of travelling to Iran, though Pakistan reported its first locally contracted case on Friday.

KarachiKingFansA health official checks the temperature of a cricket fan outside the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi. AFP 

Earlier during the day, the National Assembly cut its session short by a week and prorogued proceedings due to concerns raised by treasury and opposition members over coronavirus.

When the session had begun on March 9, the House Business Advisory Committee had decided that the assembly was to remain in session till March 20.

The National Assembly was discussing the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan, with opposition members blaming federal and provincial governments for not taking enough steps to contain the virus.

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