Turkey shuts Iran border, halts flights due to coronavirus

Turkey on Sunday closed its border with Iran and halted incoming flights as a precaution to stop the potential spread of coronavirus in the country after the neighboring Iran reported 43 cases of the disease.

According to the report by Turkish health minister Fahrettin Koca on Sunday, all highways and railways were closed as of 5 p.m. (14:00 GMT) and flights from Iran suspended.

Flights from Turkey to Iran are still allowed.

Eight people have died in Iran, the highest death toll from the new coronavirus outside of China where it originated.

Five people in the southeastern Turkish city of Van were found to not have coronavirus after being put under observation, Koca said. 

Turkey has been monitoring the border with thermal cameras in recent days, he added.

There are three main land crossings along the roughly 500 km (310 mile) border between Turkey‘s southeast and Iran’s northwest.

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