Thousands arrive at Torkham border before closure

Ahmad Nabi

LANDI KOTAL: Citizens of both Pakistan and Afghanistan on Sunday thronged to Pak-Afghan Torkham bordering point to cross the bordering point before 12:00pm owing to fear of spreading coronavirus.

As the federal government last day in prospective of possible spread of COVID 19 in the country, had decided to close the Torkham bordering point from 16 March for 14-days to avoid spreading the coronavirus in the area.

Hundreds of thousands of Afghanistan bound passengers and vice versa at the both sides of the crossing approached to the border early in the morning and started waiting in long queues outside the immigration offices to leave early for their destination.

The border would remain open till late night hours to assist the passengers to cross in or out the border, however at 12:00pm on Sunday night the border would be suspended for all kind of vehicles.

The Afghan citizens asked the authorities to extend the deadline for closing the border and deployed more immigration staff so that they could cross the border to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile the district administration established 11 quarantine centers in Landi Kotal to tackle possible COVID 19 patients.

Additional Assistant Commissioner, Landi Kotal Shamsul Islam said that in the light of the directions of the federal and provincial governments,11 centers have been set up to quarantine possible 300 coronavirus disease effectees coming from abroad.

The isolation centers had been built in headquarter hospital, Landi Kotal, government degree college, Landi Kotal, govt high schools,govt high school Abdul Ghafoor Kalley, govt high school Zentara, govt girls high secondary school, govt middle schools Shiekhwal and Gagra respectively beside  veterinary hospital and C&W office.

The official told that all necessary health equipment in addition with four ambulances had been provided and the health officials had been deployed round the clock to deal in emergency.

He added that those who had traveled abroad would be admitted in the quarantine centers for 14 days and 40 employees beside the health crew had been specialized to serve the possible COVID 19 efectees.

The official urged the residents to avoid joining crowded gatherings and strictly follow the directions publicize by the government.

It is worth mentioning here that so far 31 coronavirus positive cases have been detected across the country.