Pakistan balochistan virus
Workers of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Balochistan carry food for pilgrims at a quarantine camp prepared for people returning from Iran via the Pakistan-Iran border town of Taftan to prevent the spread of coronavirus, on the outskirts of Quetta on March 13, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday announced a countrywide shutdown of all educational institutions over fears of coronavirus spread.

The announcement came after a meeting of the national security council attended by civilian and military leadership.

“It has been decided to close all educational institutions in the country till April 5. This includes all schools and universities, public and private, vocational institutions and madaris,” Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood tweeted.

Pakistan borders China and Iran, both of which have been hit hard by the virus. It has reported 21 cases of the coronavirus but no deaths.

Borders to close

Pakistan will close its border with Iran and Afghanistan in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus, the interior ministry said Friday.

The closure of Pakistan's porous border with Iran - where hundreds of people have died from the disease - and Afghanistan will start March 16.

It will be for "an initial period of two weeks... in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in the best interest of all three brotherly countries", Pakistan's interior ministry said.

International flights into Pakistan are not expected to be affected at this time, officials said.