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World Pakistan tightens borders as Covid-19 cases soar

11:25  03 may  2021
11:25  03 may  2021 Source:   afp.com

Exclusive: Pakistan seeks specific actions to restart India talks

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Pakistan has closed land crossings with Iran and Afghanistan for travellers and slashed international flights as the government warned of a "critical" few weeks ahead in the battle against Covid-19.

a man and a woman in a uniform: Pakistan has mobilised its military to help enforce coronavirus restrictions © Asif HASSAN Pakistan has mobilised its military to help enforce coronavirus restrictions

The border restrictions were announced Sunday as the country prepared to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which usually sees the mass movement of people between cities and villages as well as the return of migrant workers and overseas Pakistanis for celebrations.

Pakistani officials have anxiously watched the coronavirus crisis unfolding in neighbouring India.

Azam replaces Kohli as fastest to reach 2,000 T20 runs as Pakistan beat Zimbabwe

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The Civil Aviation Authority said Saturday that from Wednesday, 80 percent of flights would be suspended for two weeks, mainly from the Middle East, until mid-May when the Eid holidays are over.

Foot crossings with Iran and Afghanistan would also be sealed, the country's coronavirus task force said, adding that trade would be exempt.

Flights and land crossings with neighbouring India -- reeling from a devastating outbreak with hundreds of thousands of new cases a day -- were closed before the pandemic because of political tensions.


Video: India's virus crisis escalates (AFP)

Impoverished Pakistan is struggling to contain a third wave of infections, with more than 800,000 cases and 18,000 deaths declared.

Inside The Video Game Market Selling The Last Of Us On PC

  Inside The Video Game Market Selling The Last Of Us On PC It's fascinating seeing how gaming is marketed and sold in other parts of the world, and one country whose gaming scene you never hear much about is Pakistan. But one video has taken a trip through a market in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, showing the different kinds of merchandise, peripherals, duties and import taxes imposed, and surprise video games -- including a copy of The Last of Us on PC. The video comes courtesy of Karl Rock, a YouTuber who specialises in content throughout India, Pakistan and the surroundings.

Only a small fraction of its 220 million population has been vaccinated.

Planning minister Asad Umar, who has been leading the government response to the outbreak, said the next two weeks are "critical", as health authorities rushed to increase intensive care capacity.

Last year, Pakistan saw a spike in cases following Ramadan and Eid.

Mosques have remained open throughout the month of Ramadan, with few adhering to social distancing guidelines during huge nightly gatherings of worshippers.

Private gatherings, shops and restaurants have faced tight restrictions, with the army mobilised to help enforce rules.

The government has also announced a ban on travel between provinces for more than a week over Eid and imposed closures on hotels and tourist spots.

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Where will the next COVID hotspots be? .
Dr Khan explains how India’s troubles are spreading across the sub-continent, while pregnant women are dying in Brazil.India has seen a rapid and well-publicised increase in COVID cases. After a stepwise easing of restrictions across the country throughout 2020, India’s leader, President Narendra Modi, declared the country was in the “end game” of the pandemic. Soon after this bold statement, large religious and political gatherings were allowed to take place with little regard for social distancing and, inevitably, cases began to soar. On May 3, India hit the grim milestone of 20 million COVID cases, though the true number is thought to be much higher.

usr: 0
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