Pakistan closes land border with Iran, Afghanistan bans travel over virus fears Feb 24, 2020 0 352 12345 AFPIslamabadPakistan on Sunday closed its land border with Iran, while Afghanistan suspended travel to the neighbouring country as fears across the region continued to grow over a jump in new coronavirus infections.Both Afghanistan and Pakistan share long, porous borders with Iran that are often used by smugglers and human traffickers, while millions of Afghan refugees currently live in the Islamic Republic -- raising fears that the virus could easily spread over the border.“To prevent the spread of the novel #coronavirus and protect the public, Afghanistan suspends all passenger movement (air and ground) to and from Iran,” the office of the National Security Council of Afghanistan said in a statement posted on Twitter.A provincial official in Pakistan and the country’s Frontier Corps also confirmed that the country had sealed the land border with Iran.Earlier Sunday, Iran reported eight deaths from the novel coronavirus as the supreme leader accused foreign media of trying to use the outbreak to sabotage a general election. The latest three deaths were among 15 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, bringing the overall number of infections to 43 and fatalities to eight.Authorities have ordered as a “preventive measure” the closure of schools, universities and other educational centres in 14 provinces across Iran from Sunday.Desperate and jobless Afghans have crossed the porous border with Iran for years in search of work to support their struggling families back home.But hundreds of thousands of Afghans have returned home in recent years as US sanctions have battered the Iranian economy. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES China must learn from ‘shortcomings’ in coronavirus response: President Xi Feb 24, 2020 0 424 Walls, mud packs and monkey removal for Trump’s India visit Feb 24, 2020 0 625 The Global spread of deadly Covid-19 Feb 24, 2020 0 1201 Ten student scouts killed in Indonesia flash flood Jakarta: The death toll from a flash flood that hit hundreds of Indonesian students during a hike along a river on the island of Java has risen to 10, an official said on Sunday. A group of 249 junior high school students were .. South Korea raises virus alert to highest level after jump in cases Seoul/Beijing: South Korea decided to raise its alert over the coronavirus to its highest level, President Moon Jae In announced on Sunday, after the country reported over 150 new cases of the virus. Moon said that the .. Third death from Japan cruise ship as new cases raise quarantine doubts Tokyo: A third person from a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship quarantined off Japan has died, the health ministry said on Sunday, as new infections among former passengers emerged. Japan has been criticised in the face .. Mobile phone services restored as Afghan truce holds Kabul: Mobile phone services were restored across swathes of Taliban-contested areas of Afghanistan over the weekend as a partial truce with the militants held for a second day. The commitment has seen fighting drop .. Trump says he would sign a peace deal with the Taliban AFP Washington US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would sign a peace deal with the Taliban if one were eventually reached in Afghanistan. “Yes,” he told reporters at the White House as he prepared to depart on a trip .. Malaysia’s Anwar says partners trying to bring down govt Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday denounced “betrayal” in his ruling coalition, saying that some partners were trying to bring down the government and form a new one. The comments came ..