Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Armenia close Iran borders for coronavirus

Iran has confirmed 15 new cases of the virus, bringing the country's total to 43 with a death toll of eight. Most of the infections have been in the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Qom.

Iranian women wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, as they walk at Grand Bazaar in Tehran, Iran February 20, 2020 (photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/NAZANIN TABATABAEE VIA REUTERS)
Iranian women wear protective masks to prevent contracting a coronavirus, as they walk at Grand Bazaar in Tehran, Iran February 20, 2020
(photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/NAZANIN TABATABAEE VIA REUTERS)
Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Armenia announced on Sunday that they would close their borders with Iran as a precautionary measure to halt the potential spread of coronavirus after the neighboring country reported 43 cases of the disease.
All highways and railways will be closed as of 5 p.m. (14:00 GMT) on Sunday and flights from Iran suspended, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters. Eight people have died in Iran, the highest death toll from the new coronavirus outside of China.
The Office of the National Security Council in Afghanistan announced on Sunday that it would suspend all passenger movement by air and ground to and from Iran. The import of poultry products from its neighbor has been suspended as well. The Afghani ministries of Finance and Interior will work to prevent the smuggling of masks outside of the country and set aside resources for public health.
Pakistani authorities closed the border crossing with Iran in Taftan on Sunday as well, according to Radio Pakistan. The transit gate and joint markets at the border have been closed, and trade and travel have been suspended. Precautionary and protective measures are being taken in Taftan, including a 100-bed tent hospital that is being established to deal with the emergency situation along the Pakistan-Iran border.
In addition, Armenia is also closing its border with Iran for two weeks and suspending air traffic after reports of coronavirus cases there, Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Iran has confirmed 15 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 43 with a death toll of eight. Most of the infections have been in the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Qom.
Reuters contributed to this report.