KABUL: Pakistan has reopened Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan after its weeks-long shutdown over coronavirus fears stranded tens of thousands of people and hundreds of trucks.
Pakistan said it closed the Torkham border crossing “in order to ensure safety and security of vehicles and pedestrians”.
Torkham is the main crossing point between the two neighbors and thousands of vehicles and as many people pass every week through the de-facto border.
Thousands of passengers who had travelled to Pakistan for medical treatments were trapped there after closing of the cross point, many of whom were in dire straits.
Governor of Nangarhar said in a statement that the Torkham cross point has reopened for three days before passengers, who have been trapped for weeks in Kozi Pakhtownkhwa due to closing of cross point.
Shah Mahmood Miakhil said all passengers will be screened and those tested positive will be shifted to quarantine camps. “All facilities will be granted to the passengers in quarantine camps and they will remain in the camp for 14-21 days,” he said.
Quarantine of the returnees aimed health protection of passengers and reducing risk of spreading of Coronavirus. After doctors ensuring over those, who has no signs of Covid-19, and then decision will be made for releasing of them, said the governor.
Chaman cross point also reopened before trapped passengers temporally. It is pertained to mention that after outbreak Covid-19 pandemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan around four weeks ago Torkham cross point closed before traffics including passengers and commercial goods. Closing of this cross point caused many challenge for passengers as well as for traders of both sides.