New Delhi: The United States on Wednesday temporarily closed its northern borders with Canada in view of the coronavirus pandemic that affected more than 6,500 people and killed as many as 112 in the country. Also Read - BCCI Not Planning to Cut Virat Kohli and Co. Salaries Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
In a tweet earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump said, “We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!” Also Read - Hardik Pandya Shares New Fitness Video During Quarantine Period Amid Coronavirus Lockdown | WATCH VIDEO
Subsequently, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the US and Canada have agreed to close the 8,840-kilometre border, the longest undefended border between the two countries, which is not heavily protected or patrolled. However, both leaders noted that this will not affect trade in any way. Also Read - China Reveals Over 1,300 Asymptomatic Cases of Coronavirus
“Nearly 200,000 people cross that border every day and that border and that traffic that goes across that border is literally a lifeline for both the Canadians and the Americans on both sides of that border,” CBC quoted Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland as saying on Tuesday.
“Very urgently needed medical supplies and medicines go back and forth across that border. And essential workers go back and forth across that border every day,” she added.
Canada has 598 cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), which has been collecting data on the pandemic. With a population more than nine times the size of Canada, the US has 6,519 cases. Notably, Canada had earlier barred the entry of everyone but citizens, permanent residents and Americans to the country.
Meanwhile, the US is also tightening controls at its southern border with Mexico, where only 93 cases have been reported according to JHU and returning anyone caught crossing the border illegally immediately back to Mexico without detaining them.
With IANS inputs