1,400 Cargo Trucks Stranded at Taftan as Border Shut on Coronavirus Fears

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More than 1,400 trucks loaded with goods are stranded at the Taftan border crossing after Pakistan temporarily closed its border with Iran over coronavirus concerns, according to a report published in Dawn.

Pakistan closed its border with Iran on 23rd February amid rising number of coronavirus cases and associated deaths. Balochistan, which shares 959km border with Iran, has already declared emergency in the province to contain the virus.

According to reports, Tehran has requested Islamabad to allow trucks to enter into the country. “We are considering finding out ways for the clearance of goods,” the source said while adding the final decision is expected in the next couple of days.

The trucks stranded at the border are loaded with petroleum products especially liquefied petroleum gas, scrap and chemicals. According to sources, the goods are not the problem, since they cannot carry the virus but the issue lies with drivers and helpers driving these trucks. Thus the government is considering various options to check truck drivers at quarantine places on the border.

In addition, Pakistan’s leather manufacturers import raw skin of sheep and other animals from Iran and there is no alternate option for this raw material. The closure of borders with Iran is likely to affect the leather industry as well. Sources have said Iranian envoy in Islamabad also held meetings with top Pakistani authorities for opening of border stations to allow entry of trucks in to the country.

Full story: Dawn

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