Curbs on Eastern Borders Intensify Amid Covid ‘Storm’ in India
EghtesadOnline: Anyone who has recently stayed in India will be banned from entry into Iran until further notice at the request of the National Coronavirus Headquarters, according to the director general of Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization affiliated with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
“Though Iran and India have no common borders, an immediate and complete ban on passenger commutes through the eastern borders has come into effect since Sunday in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Javad Hedayati was also quoted as saying by the news portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
The official said passengers who are Indian residents or recently visited that country cannot enter Iran through the eastern borders.
Hossein Hosseini, a deputy with the aforementioned organization, also told Fars News Agency that passenger commutes from Iran and Pakistan’s common borders of Rimdan and Mirjaveh have been suspended.
“Trucks can cross the borders as usual, yet consignments have to be unloaded at the border crossings and loaded on Pakistani trucks, meaning freight transportation fleet cannot enter the neighboring country. On their way back from the border checkpoints, Iranian truck drivers will be tested for coronavirus,” he added.
Flights to and from India and Pakistan have also been banned as of April 25 due to the spread of the new mutations of the coronavirus in these countries, according to the spokesperson of the Iran Civil Aviation organization.
“All flights to these two countries will be banned until further notice,” Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh was quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official noted that with the addition of India and Pakistan, the number of countries to which flights are suspended or restricted had reached 41.
Apart from India and Pakistan, the countries involved include France, Albania, Andorra, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bahrain, Brazil, Botswana, the Czech Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Jordan, Kosovo, Malta, Malawi, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, North Macedonia, Palestine, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Seychelles, Syria, Tanzania, Zambia and the UAE.
As per regulations set by the National Coronavirus Headquarters, before boarding the restricted flights, all passengers over the age of 8 en route to Iran are required to carry a RT-PCR test result issued by authorized laboratories and translated to English, proving they are Covid-free.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged all citizens to take Covid-19 vaccines and exercise caution, saying a "storm" of infections had shaken the country.
India has reported more than 300,000 new cases each day for the past four days, more than anywhere else in the world since the pandemic began, and deaths exceeding 2,800 per day, are piling pressure on the public health system, Reuters reported.
"Our spirits were high after successfully dealing with the first wave," Modi said in a radio address. "But this storm has shaken the nation."
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Saturday reported its highest Covid-19 death toll in a single day.
Authorities reported 157 deaths, bringing the overall fatalities to 16,999. A total of 5,908 additional cases pushed the toll to 790,016, as authorities complain of routine violations of social distancing and mask-wearing rules, AP reported.
Premier Imran Khan on Friday announced that military troops will be called to help police enforce restrictions in public places.
Authorities also decided to keep educational institutions closed until the situation improves.