Turkey on Sunday announced it would “temporarily” close its border with neighbouring Iran as alarm grows over a spike in new coronavirus infections there.
“We have decided to shut the land border temporarily after an increase in the number of cases in our neighbour Iran,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters.
The land and railway borders will be closed from 1700 (1400 GMT) on Sunday, the minister said.
He said air traffic from Iran into Turkey would also be halted from 2000 (1700 GMT) on Sunday but departures to Iran could continue.
Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said exports from Turkey to Iran and transactions continued “in a controlled way”, in comments published by the official Anadolu news agency.
Iran confirmed eight deaths from the novel coronavirus on Sunday, the highest toll of any country outside China.
Koca said Turkey was “alarmed” by the growing number of cases and forced to take the measures after speaking with the Iranian authorities.
There is not yet any confirmed incident in Turkey, with Koca saying that five suspicious cases treated in the Van province on the Iran border were negative.